What Causes Depression?

Depression can occur after a difficult life event, physical illness, or long period of stress. Alcohol or drug abuse, certain medications and your outlook on life can contribute to its development.

If your family has a history of depression, you have a greater risk of developing it. But not everyone with family history of depression goes on to develop the condition. Often it seems to occur spontaneously, with no particular reason.

One theory about the cause of depression is that it occurs as a result of a kind of biological vulnerability. It seems that some people are predisposed to the condition, that is, they have the genetics or biology that makes it easier for them to become depressed. These people have an underlying condition that is made worse when they are placed under stress.

"I thought admitting I had a problem would make people think that, well, maybe I'm not producing, not pulling my weight. and then my career would be affected. I couldn't let people know. I thought I've got to tough it out, I've got to try to fake my way through it... and where do you turn for help? You don't want to be seen as weak, but you finally reach the point where you don't care what people think, because you can barely breathe."

Carolyn — lawyer