For many years, mental health professional have researched the causes of depression and its effects on people’s health. Why did some people have the ability to bounce back from life’s problems, while others spent weeks or months hidden under the covers, unable to work, eat, or talk to anyone? If everybody faces hard times, why isn’t everyone depressed?
Is it biological?
Both genes and biochemistry play roles in its onset. However, most people overestimate the biological contributions when the evidence is stronger for depression having its origins in the way people think about and respond to life experiences.
Is it psychological?
Sometimes, a painful life event can trigger a depressive episode. The loss of a loved one, or financial problems, for example, can contribute to a feeling of hopelessness or guilt. Depression is most frequently a product of how one interprets life events as opposed to the events themselves. There are psychological skills people can learn that are known to not only reduce depression, but even prevent recurrences.
Is it sociological?
In the industrialized world today, the dissolution of the nuclear family, the emphasis on material gain over close relationships, social isolation due to geographic mobility and the pace of life getting exhaustingly ever faster all combine to provide a backdrop primed for depressed people. In fact, depression is far more common in people born after 1945 than before that year. Evidence strongly supports the fact that the recent rapid changes in Western society directly affect people’s abilities to cope with the stresses of everyday life.
Depression involves all of these and many other factors, it is a “biopsychosocial” condition.
MDI causes imageThe most important thing to remember is that depression is manageable and recovery is highly likely if approached sensibly and skillfully. If you feel like you may be depressed, the best thing you can do for yourself is to recognize you have to do something different if you want to escape its hold on you. There are a lot of treatments that can help you–but not if you don’t help yourself first by getting information and using it.
Be assured the success rate in treatment is very high. The mental health profession has developed very effective treatments, some with and without drugs, depending on your needs and preferences. This site is especially dedicated to non-drug approaches to recovery.