1 doctor weighed in:

What causes depression?

1 doctor weighed in

In brief: Causes of depression

Usually a bout of depression is set off by a stressful event, often involving some form of loss.
This may be when somebody dies, or after a relationship breaks up. Financial worries, a stressful job, redundancy or fear of unemployment, even moving house can trigger depression in vulnerable people. New mothers are susceptible to postnatal depression. And long-term or serious illnesses such as diabetes or cancer can also trigger depression.


Relationship problems are common in depressed people. These may be part of the cause of a person’s depression or a consequence.


Some forms of the illness seem to run in families but researchers have yet to find a simple genetic explanation. Unhappy childhood experiences have been shown to be important in the development of depression in adult life. For example, a child who loses his or her mother before the age of 14 and lacks adequate care from another person is more likely to have depression. Other difficult childhood events such as sexual abuse are linked to depression in adult life.


Finally, some people tend to always look on the darker side of things – it’s part of their personality. These people are more likely to develop full-blown depression at some point in their lives.

In brief: Causes of depression

Usually a bout of depression is set off by a stressful event, often involving some form of loss.
This may be when somebody dies, or after a relationship breaks up. Financial worries, a stressful job, redundancy or fear of unemployment, even moving house can trigger depression in vulnerable people. New mothers are susceptible to postnatal depression. And long-term or serious illnesses such as diabetes or cancer can also trigger depression.


Relationship problems are common in depressed people. These may be part of the cause of a person’s depression or a consequence.


Some forms of the illness seem to run in families but researchers have yet to find a simple genetic explanation. Unhappy childhood experiences have been shown to be important in the development of depression in adult life. For example, a child who loses his or her mother before the age of 14 and lacks adequate care from another person is more likely to have depression. Other difficult childhood events such as sexual abuse are linked to depression in adult life.


Finally, some people tend to always look on the darker side of things – it’s part of their personality. These people are more likely to develop full-blown depression at some point in their lives.
Quality HealthCare Team
Quality HealthCare Team
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