Depression – causes, symptoms, treatment

Depression is a mental disorder that can have a noticeable impact on one's health, quality of life, and functioning. In this article, we will focus on the causes of depression. Considering the increasing number of cases worldwide, understanding the causes of this disorder is crucial for developing effective treatment strategies.

Causes of Depression

Depression can have many causes, stemming from both biological and environmental factors, as well as individual, situational, and combinations of causes of depression. Among the main causes of depression, we can mention:

Genetic Predispositions

Depression can have a genetic basis. Often, in families where suicide and depressive disorders are equally prevalent, subsequent generations are equally susceptible to experiencing this condition. Scientific research provides evidence of the existence of specific gene sequences that can predispose individuals to depression.

Neurochemical Disorders

Brain proteins, along with serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine, also play a role in depression. Defined processes have been identified through which these molecules alter the nervous system of an affected individual, leading to depressive symptoms.


Personality traits that play a role in the development of depression include a tendency towards pessimism, low self-esteem, hypersensitivity to criticism or rejection, as well as a tendency towards resignation and withdrawal.

Stress and Traumatic Experiences

In life, most people experience stress, but negative life experiences such as living in a toxic environment, job loss, or the death of a loved one can lead to depressive disorders.

Somatic Illnesses

Somatic illnesses, such as thyroid disorders, heart diseases, or even the inability to achieve complete relaxation, also contribute to causing a person to fall into depression.

Symptoms of Depression

Depression manifests with various symptoms that can vary based on each individual’s experiences. Typical symptoms of depression include:

  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, or indifference
  • Loss of interest and joy in life
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Sleep problems: insomnia or excessive sleepiness
  • Decreased energy, constant fatigue, and weakness
  • Low self-esteem, feelings of guilt, or worthlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and thinking
  • Increased irritability and aggression
  • Somatic symptoms: headaches, dizziness, stomachaches, and an impact on the immune system.

Treatment of Depression


Psychotherapy is one of the fundamental methods for treating depression. The action of psychotherapy is based on systematic conversations with the patient and aims to understand the causes of depression and teach techniques for coping with emotional problems. It is a therapeutic process conducted by a specialist to help the patient understand and manage their emotions. Therapy used in the treatment of depression often relies on:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Interpersonal therapy

Antidepressant Medications

The second pillar of depression treatment includes psychotropic medications, especially antidepressant drugs, which act on the neurotransmitter levels in the brain.

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