is more than just sadness. People with depression may experience a lack of interest and pleasure in daily activities, significant weight loss or gain, insomnia or excessive sleeping, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

Do you find it difficult to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy friends and activities?  Are you often called, “moody?”

The most important thing to know about the causes of depression is that we don’t really know the answer to this question. It is generally believed that all mental disorders are caused by a complex interaction and combination of biological, psychological and social factors. This theory is called the bio-psycho-social model of causation and is the most generally accepted theory of the cause of disorders such as depression by professionals.

Some types of depression run in families, suggesting that a biological vulnerability can be inherited. This seems to be the case with bipolar disorder. Studies of families in which members of each generation develop bipolar disorder found that those with the illness have a somewhat different genetic makeup than those who do not get ill. However, the reverse is not true: Not everybody with the genetic makeup that causes vulnerability to bipolar disorder will have the illness. Apparently additional factors, possibly stresses at home, work, or school, are involved in its onset.

In some families, major depression also seems to occur generation after generation. However, it can also occur in people who have no family history of depression. Whether inherited or not, major depressive disorder is often associated with changes in brain structures or brain function. People who have low self-esteem, who consistently view themselves and the world with pessimism or who are readily overwhelmed by stress, are prone to depression. 

Depression in Women

Women experience depression about twice as often as men. So what kinds of unique concerns do women with depression face? How may treatment vary because of these concerns?

Depression in Senior Citizens 

Depression in older adults often goes undetected or is confused with a general health issue or the condition of aging. Yet depression is not a normal part of aging.

Depression in Children & Teens

Kids and teens can have depression just as readily as adults can. Often times it is missed and just chalked up to a normal part of being a teenage (“Oh, he’s just moody!”) when in fact it is clinical depression