What Causes Depression? Understanding the Factors that Contribute to Mental Illness


What Causes Depression? Understanding the Factors that Contribute to Mental Illness

Jul 10, 2023

Depression is a complex and debilitating mental illness that affects millions of people worldwide. While the exact causes of depression are not fully understood, research has identified several factors that can contribute to the development of the disorder. In this blog, we are going to explore some of the most common causes of depression and what you can do to manage your symptoms.

Understanding Depression

Before we dive into the causes of depression, it’s essential to understand what the disorder is and how it affects people. Depression is a mental illness characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable. Other common symptoms of depression include:

  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm

Depression can interfere with all aspects of a person’s life, including work, school, and relationships. While some people may experience depression only once in their lives, others may have recurring episodes.

Causes of Depression


There may be a genetic component to depression. If you have a family history of depression, you may be more likely to develop the disorder yourself. However, having a genetic predisposition does not mean that you will definitely develop depression. Environmental factors also play a role.

Chemical Imbalances in the Brain

Depression is believed to be linked to imbalances in certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals, known as neurotransmitters, are responsible for regulating mood, among other things. When there is an imbalance, it can lead to feelings of depression.

Life Events

Stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one, a divorce, or a job loss, can trigger depression in some people. It’s essential to note that not everyone who experiences a significant life event will develop depression. However, for some individuals, the stress can be too much to handle, leading to the onset of depression.

Chronic Illness

People who have chronic illnesses, such as diabetes or heart disease, may be more likely to develop depression. The stress and limitations imposed by chronic illness can take a toll on mental health, leading to depression.

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse and depression are closely linked. People who struggle with addiction are more likely to develop depression, and vice versa. The reasons for this are complex, but substance abuse can alter brain chemistry, leading to depression.

Social Isolation

Social isolation and loneliness can also contribute to the development of depression. People who lack social support or feel disconnected from others may be more likely to develop the disorder.

Managing Depression


Talk therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can help you identify negative thought patterns and learn new coping strategies. Therapy can be done in individual or group settings.


Antidepressant medication can help balance brain chemistry and alleviate symptoms of depression. However, medication is not a cure-all and may not be effective for everyone. It’s essential to work closely with a healthcare provider to find the right medication and dosage.

Lifestyle Changes

Making lifestyle changes can also be beneficial for managing depression. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep can all improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression.

Social Support

Having a strong support system can also help manage depression. Connecting with friends and family, joining a support group, or participating in community activities can all provide social support.


Practicing self-care is also important for managing depression. Taking time for yourself, engaging in hobbies or activities that bring you joy, and practicing relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga, can all help reduce symptoms of depression.


In conclusion, depression is a complex mental illness that can have a significant impact on a person’s life. While there is no one specific cause of depression, research has identified several factors that can contribute to its development. At Northwest Ketamine Clinics, we understand the challenges that come with managing depression, and we’re here to help.

Our ketamine infusion treatments have been shown to be effective in managing symptoms of depression and providing relief for those who have not responded to other forms of treatment. If you’re struggling with depression, don’t hesitate to contact us and learn more about how our services can help you find relief and improve your quality of life.