Health experts estimate that everyone will be affected by depression at some point in their lives. Whether you suffer from chronic depression, you have had or will have a depressed phase, or a loved one is depressed, everyone needs to understand what causes depression.

Causes vary from person to person, but there are several things that are more likely to trigger depression. If you or someone you love has any of the risk factors known to increase the likelihood of depression, make an effort to take control of the situation and battle sinking into a serious depression.

Remember, some people face these life circumstances and situations without it leading to depression, while others slip into depression with minimal external stimulation. Researchers believe there are biological reasons for this.

Many believe those prone to depression have less serotonin, known to trigger and maintain joyful feelings, in their bodies because their hippocampus is smaller. There is also evidence that people suffering from depression suffer from higher levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone.

Without knowing for sure whether your body is physiologically capable of dealing with common depression triggers, you should be prepared just in case. If you or a loved one is faced with any of the following circumstances, seek professional help or take precautionary measures to ward off responding with a depressive episode.


Sometimes the exact thing intended to help a medical issue triggers depression. If you are taking medication for which depression is a side effect, monitor your mood closely and make sure your closest loved ones understand the situation. Together with your family, friends, and doctors, you can combat the side effect of depression.


People who have suffered any kind of abuse are prone to depression. These depressive episodes can happen immediately following the abusive event or years later. Many abused children face a lifelong battle against depression, even if the abuse they suffered has long passed.

Death or Loss

Major life events are one of the most common triggers of depression. Losing a loved one is a common trigger. Grieving after the loss of a loved one, even a pet, is normal and healthy. However, there is a line that is crossed when the sadness becomes unbearable and unhealthy. Monitor your grieving process closely when the loss of a loved one occurs.

In addition to losing a loved one, other major life events can serve as triggers for depression. Divorce, relocation, the loss of a job, or retirement can all lead to depression. Even positive life events can trigger depression in some people, so be prepared if you are faced with a milestone or change in the near future.


If members of your family have suffered from depression, you must be vigilant in monitoring your own symptoms. Researchers believe there is a proven link between genetics and depression, so if you have a family history of the disease, you are likely at risk.


Many people find depression creeping into their lives when they are faced with an illness. Typically, this occurs when the problem is chronic or fatal. For instance, many cancer patients find depression is a problem either following diagnosis or after treatment is complete.

Those suffering from chronic pain are also at risk for depression, especially when their health problems affect their quality of life.

If you are faced with any of these challenges, you must be aware of the symptoms of depression. It is possible to combat depression and avoid depressive episodes. Know whether you or a loved one are at risk and do what you can to prevent a short spell from turning into full-blown depression.