What are the most common causes of depression?
Causes of depression are difficult to state directly. However, research indicates certain factors that are known to cause this condition: • Genes: Depression running in your family is no guarantee that you’ll fall prey. Yet, having parents or siblings with depression increases your susceptibility to this condition to some extent. • Biological Factors: Neurotransmitters are chemical entities in the brain responsible for functions like mood regulation, inter-brain communication etc. Dearth of neurotransmitters or interruptions in the seamless functioning of the chain of chemical reactions in the brain may engender symptoms of depression. Example: High levels of stress negatively impact the ‘happy chemical’ serotonin – a class of neurotransmitters. • Hormonal Imbalances: Higher incidence of depression during women’s reproductive lifespan may not be a coincidence. Female sex hormones swing the most during menstruation, child-bearing stages and menopause transition, exposing them to depression. To add, the risk of depression drops after menopause. • Bodily Disorders: Stress is often a byproduct of trying to cope with other chronic diseases a patient may have. Worrying inordinately about an existing ailment may call forth clinical depression. Moreover, liver diseases, thyroid disorders, Addison's disease and certain other disorders by themselves may lead to symptoms of depression. • Dietary Factors: Scarcity of certain vitamins and minerals in the system may give rise to depressive symptoms. Particularly, deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids or an imbalanced ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids is likely to cause depression. Excessive intake of unhealthy foods like sugar may have similar repercussions. • Addictions: Alcohol and drugs tend to drag addicts into depressive states. • Medications: Few drugs suspected to have links with emergence of depression are statins, stimulants, anticonvulsants, benzodiazepines, beta-blockers and corticosteroids. • Age: People who have hit their middle age are more prone to depressive conditions than youths and children.
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