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April 4, 2019

What Are The Major Causes of Depression?

Depression is a complex mental illness that affects many individuals within our society. Despite the common generalization that depression stems from a chemical imbalance in the brain, there are a variety of other potential causes.

While symptoms may be similar in individuals with mild or chronic depression, the underlying cause can vary greatly. To better understand this mental illness, the experts at our Florida drug rehab facility are going to discuss the most common causes of depression and highlight potential symptoms.  

The Major Causes of Depression

Depression is a disorder that affects an individual’s mood and outlook on life. Most individuals with mild to chronic depression will feel sad, lonely, or isolated from their family and peers. It’s important to note that periodical sadness is normal, however, clinical depression affects a person’s daily life and will require medical treatment.

Below are some of the main causes of depression.


Every aspect of your body is controlled and dictated by your unique genetic makeup. In theory, these genes can influence the way your body functions, including your mood and health. In some individuals, genetic variations can develop into depression. It is also important to note that depression can run in families. If you have a family member who has suffered from major depression, you may be more prone to developing mental disorders later on in life.

Brain Chemistry

Brain chemistry is another potential cause of depression. The human brain is incredibly complex and relies on neurotransmitters to function and communicate. The main purpose of neurotransmitters is to carry messages from neuron to neuron. In individuals with depression, these neurotransmitters may be malfunctioning in a way that affects mood response and behavior.


Hormones are another potential culprit for individual’s dealing with depression. Over the course of a lifetime, humans undergo a series of hormonal changes. In some cases, these changes in hormone production can result in the onset of depression. Common causes of a hormonal imbalance include thyroid problems, childbirth, menopause, and other medical disorders. For mothers who have recently given birth, postpartum depression is a major risk due to hormonal imbalances.

Stressful Life Events and Trauma

While everyone experiences stressful life events, the onset of this trauma can result in chronic depression. Some individuals can be predisposed to develop depression based on their genetics, making them more sensitive to stressful situations. When the body experiences emotional trauma, a number of physiological responses and chemical reactions are triggered. Over time, it can have lasting effects on the body’s natural processes.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

When considering the causes of depression, the weather may not be the first thing to come to mind. However, for some individuals, the lack of daylight during winter may cause seasonal affective disorder (SAD) to develop. SAD is now recognized as a depressive disorder and affects roughly 1% to 2% of the population with young people and women being more susceptible. Doctors will often suggest exercising outside during daylight hours, light therapy, and/or prescription medication to combat this mental health disorder.

Drug Abuse

In some cases, individuals suffering from a drug addiction may also develop a mental illness as well. Often, drug use can bring forth a whole host of unwanted emotions when the effects of the drugs have worn off. Sometimes, depression is already present before the drugs have even been taken. In these cases, the addict will usually continue to get high in order to manage or alleviate their symptoms. Long-term substance abuse can also cause imbalances within the brain, leading to mental health issues like anxiety, bipolar disorder, or depression. In the case of co-occurring disorders, the individual will need to seek help from a dual diagnosis treatment center to be treated for both their conditions.

In Conclusion

If you or someone you love is suffering from depression, it is vital to seek professional help to determine the underlying cause. If your depression is caused by drug abuse, our inpatient drug rehab center is here to help. To change your life for the better, call our drug detox center today to learn about your treatment options.  


  • Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School. “What Causes Depression?” Retrieved from
  • Healthline. “Causes of Depression.” Retrieved from
  • Mayo Clinic. “Depression (Major Depressive Disorder).” Retrieved from