5 Root Causes of Depression

If you or a loved one struggle with depression, it may seem like you are at the mercy of the episodes that feel like waves crashing down on you without warning. It is not fair that you feel so low when the sun is shining and everything around you seems to carry on like nothing is wrong. You may or may not be aware of the circumstances that trigger your lows, but talking with a therapist and trying to determine a root cause may be helpful in dealing with your depressive episodes when they come. 

Chemical Imbalance

One of the main causes of depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain that may manifest as major depressive disorder, a mood disorder, bipolar disorder, seasonal anxiety disorder, postpartum depression, or schizophrenia. Each of these disorders is unique and should be treated appropriately by consulting a medical professional, but when considered very broadly, these disorders originate from a chemical imbalance in the brain. 

This could look like abnormal activity of neural circuits that sends mixed messages to the brain which impacts your emotions and behaviors. Recognizing that you have a chemical imbalance can be helpful in seeking professional help, and it is important to know that cognitive behavioural therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy implemented by a therapist can be an effective treatment for these depressive symptoms.

Substance Use or Withdrawal

A substance-induced mood disorder can have a lot of the same symptoms as depression and is common for individuals in recovery to experience. In this instance, depressive behavior is the direct result of the consumption of a drug or medication or during a period of withdrawal from drug use. While this cause of depression is temporary, it is still important to seek professional help to manage the symptoms.

General Medical Disorder

Some people experience depression without any presence of mental health or addictive disorders, but rather as a result of a medical diagnosis. Depression is a known symptom of illnesses such as hyperthyroidism and Parkinson’s Disease, spurred on by the imbalances of hormones and other side effects of the diseases themselves. It is possible that depressive symptoms are the result of medications being taken to treat the medical diagnosis, so speak to your doctor to see if this is a side effect and if a change may be possible. 

There is a psychological component of living with a medical diagnosis as well, which should not be overlooked. Any life-changing event or knowledge has the potential to impact you or those around you emotionally and mentally, so reach out if you need additional support in processing the diagnosis and seeing hope in the way forward.

Adjustment Disorder

In addition to a serious medical diagnosis, other drastic life changes can lead individuals down the path of adjustment disorder which can cause depression. These life changes could include loss of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job or house, imprisonment of a loved one, or significant relational difficulties. When depression is spurred on by one of life’s difficulties, it is especially important to talk through what is going on with close friends and ask for their help and support in working through the situation and waves of depression. Since close friends and advisors are likely close to the difficult situation as well, it is a good idea to pursue therapy with a licensed counselor who has experience helping people with adjustment disorder.


Finally, many individuals have found that their depression stems from a previous trauma. No matter how much time as passed or how many times you have tried to move past what happened, it could just keep impacting you when you least expect it. From childhood trauma to being involved in a tragic accident to the mental and physical scars from combat to the betrayal of a loved one, you may find yourself struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, and other symptoms for some time. But please know that you are not alone in your pain. Be honest with those close to you about your struggles and ask them to help you find a therapist who specializes in trauma therapy.

There is hope for you, and you do not have to continue living like this. Talking with a counselor about your depression therapists long beach can be just what you need to be able to see the light again and get back to the life you want to live. 

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