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Causes Of Depression

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Ajay Nihalani 88% (107 ratings)
Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, United Kingdom (MRC Psych), MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Ghaziabad  •  22 years experience
Causes Of Depression

Causes of depression:

Depression is a very common condition. The who estimates that 10-15 percent of the population suffers from it. Females are twice as much prone to depression then males.

What causes depression?
There are many reasons, the common ones are

  • genetics: Multiple genes rather than one are implicated. People with a family history i. E parents, close relatives or siblings with depression increase one's vulnerability to depression.
  • brain chemistry: Various neurochemicals incl. Serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine etc are involved. Antidepressants act by correcting these neurochemical imbalances.
  • stressful life events: These increase one's vulnerability. Stress leads to increased cortisol levels which in turn increases the risk.
  • hormonal imbalanceVarious hormonal imbalances eg hypothyroidism, hypercortisolism, female hormonal imbalances cause depression. Perhaps that is one of the reasons for females to be more prone eg around periods, pregnancy and childbirth, perimenopausal states etc.
  • personality: People who are shy, anxious, perfectionist, introverted are more prone to depression.
  • nutritional deficienciesVitamin deficiencies like vitamin d and particularly omega 3 fatty acid deficiencies increase the risk of depression.
  • drugs and alcohol: Eg marijuana use, alcoholism.
  • medications: Eg beta blockers, steroids
  • stressful life events: Eg stress at work, in interpersonal/family life and especially an unhappy childhood increase the risk of depression.
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