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What are the Primary Causes of Depression?

There isn’t one single cause for it. Although a majority of the signs and symptoms look the same across the board, the specific cause of it can vary from person to person. Depression—many people know of it. They’re familiar with the term and the definition. They may even know or can call out some of the signs and symptoms. The cause is a little less widely known.

Let’s learn more about the primary causes of depression.


Your past can have an impact on your present and future. How you were raised makes you into the person you are today. Whether you experienced positive or negative events in your childhood, you’ll notice that these events or thoughts and feelings in relation to these events can impact your present and future self.

Negative events from your childhood can make you more susceptible to developing depression as a teenager or an adult. These are some of the most common childhood experiences that can lead to depression:

  • Abuse – emotional, physical, or sexual
  • Divorce
  • Neglect
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Traumatic event

Family History

There isn’t one specific gene that can cause depression, but there is a link between family history and depression. If a member of your close and immediate family shows signs of depression, you’re more likely to develop signs of depression as well. Developing depression may be caused by both genes and biology but also through learned behavior or the environment that you grew up in.

Health Problems

Existing emotional and physical health problems can also be causes of depression. If you experience other mental health problems like anxiety, eating disorders, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you may be more likely to develop depression, especially compared to someone who doesn’t have these preexisting conditions.

Not taking care of your physical health can also have an impact on if you develop depression. Dealing with chronic pain, a life-threatening illness, or other physical health problems that impact your day-to-day life can all have an impact on depression creeping in.

middle aged woman looking reflectively over her shoulderLife Events

Life events can play a big role in causing depression. Any type of life event that is stressful or traumatic can increase the chance of someone developing depression. These are some of the most common life events that could trigger a depressive state:

  • Abuse
  • Assault
  • Bereavement
  • Experiencing bullying
  • Financial problems
  • Losing a job
  • Getting a divorce
  • Getting married
  • Moving
  • Racism
  • Relationship problems

Habits and Lifestyle

Changes in eating and sleeping habits are one of the most common signs of depression. It makes sense that if you don’t take care of these basic human needs that depression can creep into your life. Our body needs a healthy and well-balanced diet in order to function to the best of its ability. On top of that, we need proper sleep for rest and recovery. Taking care of ourselves includes:

  • Eating proper meals.
  • Making sleep a priority.
  • Finding time for at least thirty minutes each day to move your body.

Next Steps

Your depression may be making you feel like you’re alone. No matter the exact cause of depression, help is available to you. Asking for help isn’t easy. A licensed and trained mental health professional is there for you when you’re ready to seek additional support. Therapy is a great way to learn more about the specific cause of your depression, recognize the signs and symptoms you may be experiencing, and find ways to better manage and cope with your depression moving forward.

Don’t delay in getting the help you need and deserve. Reach out to us today to set up a consultation for depression therapy.

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