What Are The Different Causes Of Depression?

Dr. Harold Koenig answers the question: 'What Are The Causes Of Depression?'

— -- Question: What are the different causes of depression?

Answer: Probably the most common cause for depression are genetic factors that influence our emotional sensitivity or temperament. And that kind of provides a set point that then events in our life then work together with to make us more vulnerable to depression.

Now genetic factors also interact with developmental factors. In other words, the way you were treated as a child, whether or not you had parental figures that were available to you when you needed them. And again a very sensitive child may be very needy. And if the sensitive child has a very loving always-present parent, then that's good. But a lot of times you can't predict that, you can't determine that ahead of time. And so, many times you have very needy, very emotionally sensitive children, whose parents are also having challenges in their lives, and they may not be available to that child. And then that combination of not having that developmental nurturing and having the predisposition to depression then can lead to depression.

Then of course, there are experiences that we have as an adult -- negative life experiences, losses of many different kinds, whether it be a divorce, or a serious illness, or maybe an accident. Or maybe even a disappointment in one's work, or job. And these things too can lead to depression, particularly when you consider them together with the person's inherent sensitivity that they have inherited from their parents, the genetic factors, the developmental factors that I was discussing earlier, and then these life events that we experience as an adult.

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