What Causes Depression?

What causes depression? It’s a big question, right? You know you are depressed, but you don’t know what you did to cause it.

The answer: Nothing. You did nothing to cause it. It’s there because it is.

So what causes answer?

Genes are a biggie. If daddy is depressed. mama bipolar, and sister, both moody and depressed, well, there you have it. Your depression has been passed onto you through your genes. Genes affect how well our brain process and pass on information. In short, genes have a lot to do with whether we bring our neighbors chocolate chip cookies or intentionally block in their driveways.

How we are raised also has much do with depression. If we are constantly told how awesome we are, we grow up to help little kids and old ladies across the street. If we are beaten, abused and told how rotten we are, we learn to kick everyone smaller than us.

Trauma, particularly repeated trauma, also can cause depression. Like dogs who are beaten every time they leave their kennels, people who are traumatized learn to fear and then to hate. It is not long before hate turns inward and becomes depression.

What does all this mean? Does this mean that you are doomed if everybody in the family has some sort of psychiatric disorder? Does it mean that you need to cut your losses if your parents were abusive or you have been traumatized? Not at all. But it does mean that you are going to have to do your depression-fighting work with gusto.