When it comes to the cause of depression within both adults and children, much remains unknown. However, researchers have identified a wide range of potential causes which practitioners can remain vigilant for when conducting a depression screening. The root cause of depression in a given case can be either biological or psychological. Obviously, events like the death of a loved one can be an environmental cause of depression, while certain diseases and conditions can prove to be the predicate of a biological cause of depression. Clinical depression is a serious disorder, and it can interfere with all facets of our lives ranging from job performance to insomnia and other sleep-related depression signs and symptoms.
Life situations can often be a major cause of depression. Examples include depression emanating from physical or emotional abuse, death of a loved one, a divorce, loss of a job or other major life changes. In some of these scenarios, depression will not appear for quite some time after the underlying trigger event. This can be akin to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) where the symptoms of the disease are not seen until several years after the stressors ceased. The grieving associated with death can also be a cause of depression — death is always “depressing” in general, however, some of us cross the line into actual clinical depression as a result of the departure of someone close to us.
Environmental causes of depression often revolve around the workplace and/or financial issues. These two arenas are often intertwined. A change of employers — or a job change within the same employer — can lead to depression. This is especially salient when these type of life changes occur consequent to another known cause of depression. Some behaviors can lead to biologically-induced depression. Over 30% of substance abusers have shown to be experiencing depression. It is often difficult to ascertain which came first — the depression or the substance abuse. Many abuse substances as a form of self-medication to address pre-existing clinical depression. Genetics can be a cause of depression, and some of us might just be born to have a higher propensity to experience it independent of outside life events.
Determining the cause of depression in a particular case is often difficult, and it is of secondary concern. The primary importance is to recognize depression signs and symptoms which is required in order to then pursue treatments aimed at identifying and rectifying the root cause of depression in the case at hand. Changes in sleep patterns often prove to be a telltale sign of depression, and those with persistent insomnia or inability to get out of bed in the morning should investigate whether depression is contributing to their sleep issues. The good news is that there now are several effective treatments for depression — the most important step is to recognize the problem and take the first steps to address it.