Causes of Depression


There can be many factors that influence the onset, duration, and severity of depression.

Have you ever said, “I feel depressed?”  Perhaps someone you know has recently confided in you about their own depression.  Typically, when someone confides in someone else about their mental health, they have been experiencing symptoms of mental illness for anywhere from a few weeks to a month or two.  Sometimes, it may take years just for someone to admit that they are suffering from a mental illness.

Usually just facing the gravity of having a mental illness is a huge step.  Part of the treatment process involves educating yourself and encouraging loved ones to become educated as well.  It’s important to know the symptoms of your mental illness and to use a journal to track any changes in mood and activity level, making special notes of any particular coping skills which are more effective than others.

Another aspect of education is finding out more about potential causes of mental illness.  Sometimes depressive episodes can be triggered by certain places, people, events, or memories.  At other times, depression has other root causes.

Common Causes of Depression

  • Trauma, especially at an early age, can lead to long term depression.  Someone can experience a traumatic event, and not develop depression or Post Traumatic Stress, however, either or both mental illnesses can be a long term result.

  • Genetics can increase the risk of depression, however, having a family history of mental illness doesn’t mean that you will experience depression in your lifetime.  Other factors, such as the presence natural and acquired coping strategies and life events can be a determining factor in one’s mental health.  Studies show that genetic twins will both develop depression only 30% of the time.

  • Life situations, such as struggling relationships or finances can also increase risk factors for depression.  SAD (seasonal affective disorder) strikes many people during the wintertime, when exposure to the sun and outdoor activity is drastically decreased can lead to depression.  For a small segment of the population, adjusting to the longer, hotter days of summer can trigger seasonal depression as well.

  • Medical conditions including thyroid disease, ADHD, sleep disturbances, and chronic pain can lead to depression.  Along with medical conditions, some medications list depression as a potential side effect.  Even birth control and acne medication can lead to an increased risk factor for depression.

  • Diet can lead to an increased risk of depression.  Generally, listen to your mother’s advice: eat less sugar and more vegetables.

Whether you’re just starting the mental health recovery process or you’re well on your way, we want you to know that we’re here to help.  It’s a process and we’re here every step of the way from the initial mental health screening and assessment, treatment, therapy, medication management, and education.  The PTI has two locations, one in the Baton Rouge community and the other is in the Covington area.  Please don’t hesitate to call us today!