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Causes of depression - 

Biological or Psychological?

There are basically two main causes for depression: biological factors and environmental interactive factors. A combination of both is obviously another possibility.

1. Biological causes of depression:

  • Depression image Chemical imbalance: There are different chemicals at work in the brain, operating in complex functions. One of the chemicals believed to have a primary function in the regulation of mood is serotonin. Low serotonin levels have been associated not only with depression but with obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, sleep disorders, anger and aggression.

  • Hormonal imbalances: Women experience depression about twice as often as men. Many hormonal factors may contribute to increased rate of depression in women, particularly such as menstrual cycle changes, pregnancy, miscarriage, postpartum period, pre-menopause, and menopause. All of these changes are controlled by hormone levels. It is no wonder that a woman can be depressed easily. Add the daily stress and it is a miracle that every woman that walks the face of this earth is not depressed.

  • Genetics: Depression runs in families, but it is very difficult to determine how much of it is due to genetics and how much to environmental factors and influences. People whose relative have a record of clinical depression are at a greater chance of developing it themselves. Also one whose close relative has a medical history of bipolar disorder may also have an increased chance of developing major depression.

  • Physical condition: A variety of long time physical illness like Parkinson's disease, arthritis, cancer, etc can lead to a chronic depression. Health problems that cause chronic pain (Arthritis) can also be a cause of depression.

2. Environmental causes of depression:

  • Psychological: The other side of the coin in the thinking on depression causes is that depression is a function of environmental interactive factors. That is to say, depression is not caused by any biological imbalance at all but instead occurs because of how a person responds to their environment. Low self esteem and pessimism are thought to be related to the causes of depression. A person suffering from low self esteem may regard themselves with feelings of pessimism, worthlessness and sometimes even attempts at suicide. In this case the person will only see the negative aspects of life. These low self esteem and pessimistic feelings create a great potential for depression.

  • Social and emotional: Depression can be caused by emotional factors. Financial crisis, dissatisfaction or loss of job, failure in personal relationship can cause overwhelming emotions and trigger the severe depression. These will most affect people who are already vulnerable to depression biologically. People, who have unsupportive families, feel lonely and isolated are at a higher risk of having depression. Also stressful life events and general anxiety disorder may be associated with the cause of depression as well.

  • Lifestyle factors: An unhealthy lifestyle such as a diet full of empty calories, drug use and excessive alcohol can trigger depression. Lack of exercise can put you at a risk, Junk food and sugary snacks can cause rapid changes in blood sugar, the same is true of caffeinated beverages. Certain vitamins and mineral deficiency has been linked to depression. Alcohol is a depressant that slows down brain activity, it is particularly dangerous. Excessive marijuana use can also lead to depression.

So is depression caused by biology or by how a person perceives their environment? The answer is likely a combination of both. No one is immune to depression. It can strike any one at any time in their lives. But there is natural treatment for depression that can result in a full recovery. If you feel that you might have depression act immediately. 

Don't let depression stop you from enjoying life!

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