Depression causes and diagnosis

Causes and diagnosis of depression

What could be the causes of depression?

Everyone with depression is unique, and each person has their own set of circumstances. A combination of many factors can contribute to depression. Although you may not be able to pinpoint the root cause of depression, knowing the context can help you better manage it.

External factors

Depression is often linked to life events like long-term unemployment, being in an abusive relationship or lonely, or living in constant stress. If you’re already vulnerable to depression, recent life events like losing your job, being sick, or having someone die can all trigger depression. Many Australians have been negatively affected by events like the COVID-19 Pandemic, natural disasters like the Bushfires. These events can often lead to depression and anxiety.

Factors internal

Depression can be triggered by personal factors like family history, personality, drug and alcohol abuse, and even your family background. A family history of depression may increase your risk. Not everyone who has a sibling or parent with depression will experience it. Depression can also be caused by personality traits like perfectionionism, low selfesteem, and a tendency toward worry. However, this link is not necessarily direct.

Depression can also be caused by drug and alcohol abuse. People with depression can reduce their alcohol intake. You can contact the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline at 1800 250 015.

Complex chemical changes can occur in the body, especially in the brain, in people with depression. Your brain’s ability to regulate your moods can be affected by medical conditions. These chemical aspects are a key component of many medications used to treat severe depression. They have also been proven to be extremely effective in managing severe depression.

How can depression be diagnosed?

Talking to a healthcare professional is important if you have concerns about your own mental health or that of someone you care about. A mental assessment typically involves a discussion, answering a questionnaire and a physical exam. This will allow your doctor to distinguish between mental and physical problems.

Your doctor will ask you questions about your thoughts and feelings. He or she may also check for depression symptoms, including energy, appetite, mood, and if you feel hopeless, restless, or sad. Your doctor may be able to help you if there is a history of depression in your family. Your answers will allow your GP to determine if a specialist, such as a psychologist, counselor or psychiatrist may be of assistance.

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