What causes depression?

Posted by aliali @aliali, Aug 22, 2019

I feel shocked to know that there is almost no one depressed among the Amish people, since they still maintain an old-fashioned lifestyle! However, a question popped up into my mind: What causes depression: lifestyle or innate traits like being a highly sensitive person? Some scientists say: change your traits and you will get better. Others would say change you lifestyle to be better. In fact I need clarification about it. If I am a highly sensitive person and face a hundred resentments a day while living an old lifestyle, will I be depressed? I hope I put it clear

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Hi, @aliali – you clearly are a deep thinker about many things, and often it does help people to understand what may be causing their illness, mental or otherwise, if it can be known through present science.

You asked about what causes depression: lifestyle or innate traits like being a highly sensitive person?

Here is what a Mayo Clinic article says about the causes of depression in this article https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007:

It's not known exactly what causes depression. As with many mental disorders, a variety of factors may be involved, such as:

– Biological differences. People with depression appear to have physical changes in their brains. The significance of these changes is still uncertain, but may eventually help pinpoint causes.

– Brain chemistry. Neurotransmitters are naturally occurring brain chemicals that likely play a role in depression. Recent research indicates that changes in the function and effect of these neurotransmitters and how they interact with neurocircuits involved in maintaining mood stability may play a significant role in depression and its treatment.

– Hormones. Changes in the body's balance of hormones may be involved in causing or triggering depression. Hormone changes can result with pregnancy and during the weeks or months after delivery (postpartum) and from thyroid problems, menopause or a number of other conditions.

– Inherited traits. Depression is more common in people whose blood relatives also have this condition. Researchers are trying to find genes that may be involved in causing depression.

I'm guessing that others will have some thoughts on the causes of depression as well, like @notaround @smilie @ayeshasharma @cathy514 @secretwhitepop @hopeful33250.

Are you hoping to understand the causes better in order to try and address them directly, aliali? I know that for me, inherited traits are part of the picture of the depression I have dealt with and take medication for, as other close family members also have been diagnosed. Do any of the causes mentioned above ring true for you, aliali?

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