• Olga Shchedrinskaya

What are the triggers and causes of depression?

Current research shows that there is no single cause for mental health conditions - multiple factors are usually involved. Let's explore some of the factors that may increase the risk of developing depression.

  • Genetic predisposition or family history of depression is a significant factor. Heritability for Major Depressive Disorder is around 40%.

  • Depression is more likely to occur alongside with certain illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease

  • Biological factors such as imbalances in brain chemistry and the endocrine/immune systems plus side effects of some medications could become a significant cause of low mood, lack of energy and other depressive symptoms

  • In some cases, the key factors may be directly related to the environment, including major stresses or adverse childhood experiences (trauma, abuse etc.).

  • Research shows that "minority stress" (belonging to a minority) is also a significant risk factor for various mental health disorders.

  • Psychological or emotional vulnerability to depression, including temperamental factors (e.g. neuroticism) may also play a significant role

It is important to keep in mind that, irrespective of underlying conditions and other factors, everybody who struggles with depression deserves support, help and understanding.

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