Common Causes Of Depression Among Individuals

Depression is classified as a mood disorder. It can be described as a feeling of sadness, loss, or anger that interferes with a person’s everyday activities.

Though, depression and grief share some features, but it is different from grief felt after losing a loved one or sadness felt after a traumatic life event. This usually involves self-loathing or a loss of self-esteem, while grief typically does not.

Depression can be caused by any number of reasons, ranging from medical to social.

Here are 5 of the most common sources of depression and some strategies we can use to help relieve each:

1. Oppression and Discrimination

The stress that we carry from being ‘others’, contributes enormously to our mental health and our physical health.

People get depressed as a result of the of the rampant discrimination in the society in recent days. This has led a lot of people to things they ought not to do. Those who can’t are left hanging, deep in thoughts with pain and anger.

So, in treating this with a basis of discrimination, we have to break the cycle of oppression within the therapeutic relationship. First and foremost, that means we have to establish the therapy office as a safe environment to discuss experiences of discrimination.

2. Traumatic Stress

Racism and other forms of discrimination are certainly one type of traumatic stress that people experience; however, many other traumatic experiences can also play a role in driving people’s depression.

Traumatic Stress happens as a result of reflection of past events that brings pains to one. And at such, when it get overs someone, it weighs one down so bad. It goes further to give room to get angry unnecessarily and weakens their urge to get up to do day to day activities

So, in treating depression with a basis in traumatic stress, the key is to address the trauma itself using trauma therapy techniques individualized to the specific needs of the client.

3. Gender Stereotypes

Of course, similar to other forms of discrimination, sexism can impact someone sense of belonging and self-worth.

Now, there are a few key symptoms we tend to think of as universal signs of depression: fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, loss of interest in things that were previously enjoyable. But according to Terry Real, MSW, LICSW, while those symptoms are common with overt depression, there is another presentation which is a bit more covert.

You see, there is a lot of stigma surrounding vulnerability and weakness for men — stigma which can induce feelings of worthlessness at even a moment of vulnerability. As such, when men experience depression, they have a tendency to hide their shame with grandiosity. So, in this covert form of depression, we are more likely to notice the defense mechanisms  self-medication, anger, violence, womanizing, etc. rather than the depression itself.

4. Biological / Hereditary Predispositions

Many will note that difficulties with depression or other mental illness seem to run in the family – and often, they’d be right.

Though there are no specific genes that we can look at and trace to depression, if your family members have had depression, you are more likely also to experience depression. The jury is still out on whether or not this link is due to learned behavior or biology.

Additional causes of depression

In addition to those causes, these aew more abstract causes of depression

  • Losing your job
  • Being in a dysfunctional relationship
  • Stress at work
  • Isolation
  • Going through a breakup or divorce
  • Being diagnosed with an illness
  • Being unemployed for a long time
  • Grieving a loved one

A more definitive list of treatments for depression is:

  • Self-guided changes to your lifestyle. Simply changing things like your sleep cycle, how you spend your time, and other daily habits can do a lot to improve your depression.


  • Therapy. Beginning counseling, therapy, or psychotherapy with a mental health provider can help you better cope with your feelings and talk them through. You can do therapy for a short time or stay in it for more extended periods of time.


  • Alternative therapies. Many people with mild depression can heighten their therapeutic experience by supplementing it with acupuncture, hypnosis, or biofeedback. //

Of course, every person’s problem is unique to them. Because there is a broad spectrum for how depression can appear, the treatments can also vary. Just know that there is also a wide spectrum for treatment and that it may take some time for you to find the right one for you.

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