Biological and Psychological Causes of Depression

Sad Depressed Lady

Depression is a chronic disorder, which if not immediately treated subjects the sufferer and his or her immediate social network to a very poor quality of life. This is because it is a multifaceted condition that affects the sufferer emotionally, socially, physically and mentally. Despite the fact that the exact triggers of depression are unknown, recent studies suggests that a complex interaction of both the psychological and biological factors contribute to the progression of this disorder. These two factors are interlinked in such a way that a treatment approach that is based on both biological and psychological concepts is more likely to succeed.

Biological Causes

Some individuals are more vulnerable to depression than others due to their own unique biological factors, such as presence of depression-triggering genes. This means that depression is hereditary; hence it tends to run in families, notes the Black Dog Institute. Regardless of this fact, an individual may suffer from depression even if there is no trace of it in the family history.

Another biological trigger of depression is abnormal brain structure and chemistry. The report released by the National Institute for Mental health notes that the brain structure of an individual with depression is slightly different from the rest of individuals who do not have the disorder.

Depression tends to affect the way a neurotransmitter known as serotonin is balanced and distributed in the brain. This neurotransmitter regulates mood, appetite, sleep, concentration, and thinking. This explains the reason why when the level of serotonin is low or is unbalanced, the person in question tends to be sad or depressed. Such patient is prescribed antidepressants that work by increasing serotonin levels.

Psychological Causes

Depression can also occur as a result of prolonged exposure to countless negative life events. Operating in a stressful work environment is classified as one of the most common depression triggers. Most people spend much of their working lives in the office, and risk suffering from depression especially if they deal with demanding supervisors, heavy workloads, impatient customers, uncooperative co-workers and tight deadlines. The sad thing about this is such people may end up being incredibly unhappy with their jobs. This dissatisfaction may increase to a level where depression sets in.

Prolonged mental and physical abuse during the early formative years is another common depression trigger. Recent research explains that children who are physically or mentally assaulted have higher chances of suffering from depression in future than children who are loved. For people who have experienced such trauma in life, cognitive behavior therapy is the best treatment approach.

Guidelines on How to Deal with Depression

There are various activities which can be of help when it comes to coping with depression:

  1. Exercise
  2. Exercise boosts serotonin levels. Cardiovascular exercise which is commonly known for promoting physical health can also be beneficial when it comes to your emotional and cognitive health. Numerous studies have revealed that there is an overlap between emotional stability and exercise. Therefore, try to set aside at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.

  3. Social support
  4. Try and join a support group since they tend to assist people in managing stresses in life. Also, try to allow those who are concerned with your welfare the chance to be a part of your life.

  5. Embrace the idea of therapy
  6. Whether the symptoms of depression are worse or not, seeking treatment from a professional cannot be ignored. A therapist who is using bio-psychological techniques will help you in the treatment to overcome depression.


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