What Really Causes Depression?

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People from all walks of life suffer from depression. As a result of this condition, they might struggle with low mood, feelings of hopelessness and guilt, a lack of energy, insomnia, and poor concentration. Here at Lopez-Larson & Associates in Park City, UT, we frequently treat patients with this mental health condition. Usually, the first step towards healing is finding out what the reason for the person’s low mood is.

There are many different causes of this problem, and each patient is different. Often, there is more than one reason why a person consistently feels depressed. For instance, they might be processing a traumatic event from the past, worried about the future, and lonely at the same time. Today, we’ll have a look at some of the most common reasons why people feel down and discuss what you should do if you or a family member is affected by low mood.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Depression?

Feeling depressed once in a while is normal. We all have good and bad days, and our emotions fluctuate. But if your negative thoughts crowd out all other feelings and you have trouble performing your day-to-day tasks, you should see a mental health specialist. They will be able to figure out what the problem is and help you find appropriate solutions.

Often, people become depressed for a number of reasons, and there isn’t a single cause. Genetics and a family history of mental health concerns make it more likely that a patient suffers from low mood or anxiety. Additionally, long-term stress, certain personality traits, or a traumatic event can contribute to the problem. Many people with a severe orchronic illness also have trouble regulating their mood.

Genetics and a Family History of Mental Health Problems

Problems with mental health can occur in anyone, but they are more likely to affect people who have relatives suffering from a similar condition. In fact, recent studies have shown that the risk of being depressed or anxious increases by about 25-50% if there is a family history of mental health disorders.

Therefore, people with a genetic predisposition should always take good care of their mental health. If your parents, aunts and uncles, or grandparents are depressed, make sure you lead a healthy lifestyle that includes enough sleep, plenty of exercise, and a healthy diet. Additionally, you should focus on building up a strong support network of family and friends who can prevent you from feeling down or lonely.

A Traumatic Event

Although genetics play a role in mental health, life events are even more important. Most people who have had a life-threatening accident, experienced the death of a loved one, been assaulted, or witnessed an attack on someone else have long-lasting symptoms that include low mood and anxiety. It can take several months or even years to come to terms with such an occurrence, especially if you don’t get the treatment you need.

In fact, people often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder after a major incident. This condition can cause patients to feel depressed and anxious, and they might have flashbacks and trouble sleeping. If you notice that you can’t find joy in your regular activities anymore after a traumatic event, you shouldn’t delay speaking to an expert.

Long-Term Worries and Stress

Sometimes, patients can’t pinpoint a single event that caused their depression. Instead, their stressors build up gradually until they can no longer enjoy their life, and they begin to feel down all the time. Common issues that cause long-term stress include financial worries, a toxic work environment, and interpersonal problems at home. In the US, nearly half of the population believes that stress has negatively affected their behavior in the past.

Additionally, more than three-quarters of Americans suffer from symptoms such as tiredness and headaches that are caused by stress. Although low mood is one of the most common problems related to long-term worries, it isn’t the only one. Over time, you could develop circulatory diseases that could lead to premature death. For this reason, you shouldn’t let stress-related issues slide. Speak to a professional about your worries as soon as possible.

Certain Personality Traits

We are all different, and some people are more prone to feeling depressed than others. For instance, people who tend to suffer from low self-confidence or those who are overly self-critical often suffer from low mood. Additionally, introverted individuals and those who are very emotionally sensitive are more likely to have issues with low mood.

If you’re a natural worrier, you must take good care of your mental health at all times. Take steps to manage your concerns before they spiral out of control. For instance, you could reach out to family and friends and meet with a support group on a regular basis.

A Severe Illness

Patients who suffer from a severe illness such as a circulatory disorder, cancer, or Parkinson’s disease feel depressed for a variety of reasons. Firstly, they might be worried about how their condition will affect them in the future. Some might be afraid that they will pass away as a result of their illness, while others might worry about what their life will look like once their health deteriorates.

Additionally, many people with a chronic illness are in pain, which contributes to their low mood. Although talking therapy can help them, these patients usually require medication to reduce their discomfort.


Loneliness is a serious problem in the US. While it affects various groups of the population, certain people are more susceptible to it, particularly mothers with small children, young adults, and retired people. Some studies estimate that the consequences of loneliness are as detrimental as those of smoking or obesity. In fact, people who don’t have adequate social ties are around 30% more likely to die early than those with a robust network.

If you suffer from low mood because you don’t have enough social contact, you should speak to a mental health professional near you. They can help you learn new ways of meeting people and interacting with the world around you.

Giving Birth

Many women suffer from depression after they give birth. This is because their hormonal balance changes, causing low mood, apathy, and sluggishness. Although this condition is usually temporary, it can be very disruptive, especially since the patient has to take care of a newborn as well as themselves. Talking therapy, antidepressants and self-care can all help new mothers to feel better.

How Can Low Mood Be Treated?

There are many reasons why people are unhappy for prolonged periods of time, and low mood is extremely common. It is estimated that around 280 million people around the world feel depressed on a regular basis. Here at the clinic, we approach each patient as an individual and find customized solutions for their mental health concerns. When you first reach out, we will invite you to a meeting, so we can discuss your background and the reasons for your worries.

Once we know why you suffer from low mood, we can come up with several treatment options. We might ask you to alter your lifestyle, help you develop a better mind-body connection, prescribe supplements and medication, or suggest Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. Often, several of these methods are used to address a patient’s concerns.

Get Rid of Your Mental Health Condition Now

Currently, there is a mental health crisis in the US. People are more anxious and depressed than ever before. There are various reasons why depression is such a prevalent condition, but some of the most common triggers are long-term stress, a traumatic event, a severe illness, and loneliness. Some women also suffer from low mood after giving birth.

Luckily, there are people in your community who can help you or your depressed loved one get better. Treatment usually begins with an initial consultation, during which you can explore the reasons for your low mood. Then, you and your specialist can come up with a treatment plan. Call us now at Lopez-Larson & Associates in Park City, UT to book a session with Dr. Melissa and her team.