You’ve probably heard that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. This is referring to the levels of dopamine and serotonin that a person has in their system. Dopamine and serotonin are neurotransmitters that are associated with the feeling of pleasure. Generally, when people talk about the chemical imbalance these are the chemicals they are talking about. While this is true and is a contributing factor, there are other circumstances that could also add to the start of someone’s depression.
- Genetic characteristics. People that have a family history of depression are at higher risk of becoming depressed. Just like any other genetic disorder, there are certain people that are just more likely to become depressed because of their genetic makeup.
- Certain medical illnesses. Depression can be a symptom of a different major medical condition, or it can be triggered by the treatment of that condition.
- Stress. Any new life event, good or bad, can lead to depression. The stress of getting a new job or moving, while being very exciting, can cause depression.
- Grief. Losing someone important in your life can lead to depression. Depression is one of the stages of grief and it is a natural response to loss.
- Substance abuse. Many people that have a problem with substance abuse also have depression. They might be addicted to the dopamine and serotonin that is released when they use drugs or drink and coming down off of that high can lead to depression.
Depression is not something that you have to deal with on your own, contact us for help. Depression is very common, and we can help you through the process so that you can start enjoying your life again.