Essay Example on Depression: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  948 Words
Date:  2022-12-29


Depression is an affective disorder that varies from transient drops of the mood that are characteristics of life to the serious clinical disorders and vital duration with associated conditions and symptoms, totally different from the normal. Depression is one of the serious problems of mental health that faces society today (Beck & Alford, 2009). There are different approaches that have tried to explain the causes of depression, and that also gives way to the treatments with which it can be treated. Depression can affect anybody, irrespective of age, sex or the condition of life. The World Organization of Health (WHO) defines depression as the most common of the mental disorders and that the Depression is one of the disorders that cause most disabilities in the world. This paper explores three major causes of depression amongst people around the world.

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Psychodynamic Causes

In a certain sense, all adult depressive reactions are responses deferred with the immediate precipitant in adult life showing feelings that can be traced back to early childhood. Since every child experience loss and feeling of maladjustment, and helplessness, every adult has the ability to develop depressive responses (Beck & Alford, 2009). The common causes of many depressions are psychological. Consider the depressed mood as a form of adjustment, which works as a defense mechanism. The concept of depression is a manifestation of hostility against the loved one that was lost in childhood. There is a reaction of hatred against the object of lost love, for having missing. This hatred of the loved one cause excessive feelings of guilt and, to defend against this guilt, the individual reverts against himself feelings of hatred. All individuals have mental representations of who they are important in their lives, including themselves (Lauber et al., 2003). Also, in addition to the representation of who we are, there is the ideal ego, which is the mental image of what people would like me. In this way, the degree to which the self-image corresponds with the ideal ego contributes and constitutes part of self-love. Thus, the decrease in confidence and Self-esteem are important symptoms of depression. According to psychoanalysis, the self-esteem of most individuals who are prone to depression is based on a continuous contribution of affection, respect, and approval on the part of important people in their lives. In this way, the distancing or rupture of a relationship with these people creates a threat to the source of supply (Beck & Alford, 2009).

Psychosocial Causes

It has been shown that a certain degree of social stress increases the risk of suffering depression (Beck & Alford, 2009). Many socio-cultural theorists propose that depression is influenced by the social structure in which the person lives. They believe that there are links between depression and certain factors such as culture, race and social support, marital separation, the status of divorced, belonging to inferior classes, the inadequate economic situation, the labor instability, living isolated from the urban center, labor difficulties or relatives, among others, constitute the social causes for the appearance of the major depressive disorder (Elliott, 2001). Some recent studies suggest that the increase in risk for major depression is caused by the increased sensitivity of the person to the stressful events of life. Many of the relationships between culture and culture have been investigated in getting to the causes of depression. Some of the findings found to explain that in all cultures there is depression and all people are at risk of facing it; however, depression may vary from culture to culture. Depression also varies from a subgroup in a subgroup within the same society, for example, it is much higher prevailing for women than for men. According to this author, there is a socio-cultural explanation that holds that complexities of the roles of women in society leave it particularly predisposed to depression (Elliott, 2001).

Genetic Causes

Genetic causes are of greater importance in psychotic depressions. Most of the studies carried out with families have shown that parents, siblings, and children of depressed patients have a risk between 10 and 15% of suffering it, compared to 1 to 2% in the general population. There have been several studies in twins that indicate a predisposition to the disease based on genetic causes. The studies suggest the existence of a dominant gene in identical twins. Within these discoveries, it must be pointed out that members of a family are subject to the same environmental factors that can determine depression. Also, living together with a depressed person can originate the same picture in one of his close friends. On the other hand, it is found that monozygotic twins have a 46% chance of suffering depression, while the dizygotic have a 20% chance (Elliott, 2001). The rates of concordance for manic-depressive psychosis were 68% in monozygotic twins bred together, 67% for monozygotic twins raised separately and 23% in dizygotic twins. Studies with adopted people also point to a genetic etiology.

Investigations indicate that depressive illnesses are disorders of the brain. Some types of depression tend to be transmitted from generation in generation, which suggests genetics relationship. But nevertheless, the depression too can be presented in people with no family history of depression. In addition, traumas, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or any stressful situation can cause an episode of depression. Episodes of subsequent depression may occur with or without obvious provocation (Lauber et al., 2003). There is a need for more research in prevention measures of the disorder, as many lives are in danger.


Beck, A. T., & Alford, B. A. (2009). Depression: Causes and treatment. University of Pennsylvania Press.Elliott, M. (2001). Gender differences in causes of depression. Women & Health, 33(3-4), 183-198.

Lauber, C., Falcato, L., Nordt, C., & Rossler, W. (2003). Lay beliefs about causes of depression. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 108, 96-99.

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