What causes Depression?

Although the cause of depression is not fully understood, researchers believe that depression involves a chemical imbalance in the areas of the brain that regulate mood and emotion.

Researchers have found a number of factors that seem to increase the risk of being diagnosed with depression: a close relative diagnosed with depression or an anxiety disorder; major life events such as death in the family; job loss; or retirement.

Women are more than twice as likely to develop depression as men. Again the reason for this is unknown, however it is not uncommon for depression in women to coincide with the hormonal changes of menstrual periods, pregnancy or after giving birth. However, depression can happen at any time in a woman's life.

It is important to understand that depression can be triggered by a number of physical illnesses such as heart disease, thyroid disease, or arthritis. Visit your doctor and tell her/him about all your symptoms, to determine if your depression is caused by other illness. If you are diagnosed with depression your doctor will work with you to find the right treatment for you.

The presence of depressive or anxiety-related symptoms such as constant fatigue, difficulty sleeping or concentrating may be a sign of an underlying illness that may require treatment. Only your doctor can determine the cause of your depression and tailor the right treatment for you.