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What Causes Clinical Depression

When you or someone you love is diagnosed with major depression, it leads you to wonder what causes clinical depression. Why it only affects some and not everyone.


Depression is a complicated disease, and no one can tell you exactly what causes depression. However, several reasons can cause depression. 


For instance, some individuals may suffer from depression when battling a serious medical condition. Others might suffer from depression due to the loss of a loved one, a huge change, or a family history of depression. Sometimes pushing them to feel overwhelmed with loneliness and sadness for no reason.


The Main Causes of Depression?

While there is no set reason you may suffer depression, some factors can increase your chances of being depressed. 


  • Abuse - Past or current physical, emotional, or sexual abuse can make you more vulnerable to clinical depression.


  • Medications - There are some medications such as isotretinoin, interferon-alpha, and corticosteroids - that can increase your risk of depression.

  • Conflicts - Depression occurs in biologically vulnerable groups to develop personal disputes, and/or conflicts with friends and family members.

  • Death or Loss - Grief or sadness caused by a loved one's death, or a significant loss, can open you up to depression. 

  • Genetics - Those who have a family history of depression are most likely to suffer from depression at some point in their life. What makes it more complicated is its ability to spread through various traits. Rather than being a single unit, depression is a small part of different units that come together. Brought together that can cause a significant impact, and leave you with clinical depression. 

  • Major Events - The thing about depression is that it is not just associated with sadness. Any major event in your life, such as starting a new job, getting married, or graduating, can lead to depression, along with losing a job, moving, getting divorced, or retiring. Any significant events in your life can open you to depression. The reason behind it is the stress associated with these major events. Meaning, regardless of the feelings, the level of stress can add to your depressive state. 

  • Personal Problems - Personal issues such as social isolation, or being cast out of any social group can contribute to developing clinical depression. Consider it a trigger that makes it the final push towards depression, or it can be a beginning that comes forward later in life.

  • Serious Illness - Suffering from a severe illness can cause depression, especially when you have been fighting the illness for some time now. Most serious illnesses come with depression, which can be caused naturally or by the medication you are taking. Moreover, mild illnesses can also lead to depression, so depression is associated with severe illnesses.

  • Substance Abuse - Approximately 30% of people who suffer from substance abuse also suffer from clinical or major depression. Even when alcohol or drugs make you feel better, for the time being, there will be a point in time, which can lead to aggravated depression. Substance abuse is not the answer to depression and can cause many destructive issues later in life. This is why it's best to get help for substance abuse before it's too late.


Depression is a constant battle, one that you can win! It doesn't matter what type of depression you are suffering from. When you start to look at depression as a choice and train your mind towards happiness, choose happiness by getting the help you need and deserve.


Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services.

Phone 13 11 14 (24 hours, 7 days)

Chat (7 pm to midnight AEST, 7 days)

Text service (6 pm to midnight AEST, 7 days)


Yours in self-care,

Adrian Wilk

Go on, you deserve us!

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