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What causes depression?

Updated: Apr 4

As societies westernise and become more technologically advanced, the rates of depression go up. Technology is wonderful, but it comes with a cost at a human level.

Depression, anxiety, mood disorders
Depression as a mood disorder

Technically defined as a mood disorder, but it is much more than that. The components of depression reach into every part of the person’s life. It reaches into your ability to be social, your ability to be effective parent, effective person in work, your physical health, and other parts of your life.


An important factor in depression is the decision-making process.

It refers to how people use their feelings, as their basis of decision making.

What does it mean? How does it work?

It works in a way that when you are depressed, you are very likely to make bad decisions based on your depression, that are going to guarantee that your depression is going to keep going. The feeling might be:

 “I don’t want to be told what to do, I don’t need a treatment”

“Why should I bother to talk to anybody, nobody is going to be able to help me”

“My depression is genetic”

“I don’t want to go for therapy, it’s not going work in my case”


It’s a very interesting fact, that as societies westernise, they become more technologically advanced, the rates of depression go up.

This becomes even more significant factor for younger people, as we start to examine the role and influence of social media and technology on depression. As a general rule, the more time you spend in front of a computer screen, laptop, or a smart phone, the more likely you are already depressed, or likely to become depressed.

Technology is wonderful, but it has a cost at a human level.


So, the best answer to the question of what causes depression is: Many things.


The pathway into depression is different for each person. And that’s why there is no single best treatment, no single best medicine.

What medication cannot do or help with?

-       It cannot teach you better coping skills

-       It cannot help you to be more realistic when you’re trying to explain the meaning of things that happened to you in life

-       Cannot help you be a better relationship partner and teach you how to be more socially skilled

-       Cannot teach problem solving skills

-       Decision making strategies

-       Cannot build you a support network

-       Cannot change your history

-       How to build realistic goals, motivate you to live your life with passion


Too many therapies are looking for a reason for depression. There isn’t a single reason. Depression is a process, not an event. It’s an ongoing way that the person has in processing information, processing experience, thinking about the things that happened to them.

It’s easy to say, ‘oh, the person got depressed because they lost their job.’ No, losing job isn’t a reason for depression. There are people who lose their job, and they don’t become depressed.

Depression doesn’t just strike out of nowhere; by the time people come to therapy, the risk factors are already in place, usually for years.

A lot of times people don’t realise it, until it’s too late.


We want people to recognise what their vulnerabilities are, before it becomes severe depression. Which means, depression becomes integrated into your life, reaching deeper parts of your being. In which case we need to teach such a parson the skills to handle each part of their live in a way that isn’t depressed.

Depression reaches into every part of the person’s life: the part to be social, the ability to be an effective parent, be effective in your job, your physical health, it reaches into so many part of life.


To put it simply:

Depressed brain makes bad decisions, that make their depression worse.

People don’t do this intentionally, but it speaks to how their decision-making process increases their vulnerability. If you are depressed, you are very likely to make bad decisions based on your depression. Depressed decisions. And, it’s going to guarantee that your depression will keep going, affecting you deeper and deeper.


What medications do though? Do they help with depression?

Partly; they do help in a way. They flatten your emotions, so you feel less anxious and less depressed. They flatten all your emotions equally though, including the positive and most needed ones, whether it is joy, happiness, passion, or drive for life. 


Therefore, the treatment plan I will put I place needs to be individual and different, for each person I treat. There are things in therapy that can be done or achieved, that medications unfortunately cannot.


So, is taking a pill for depression a good decision? After reading this article I hope you can probably conclude for yourself.


If you feel ready to make positive decisions, not based on a depressed brain state, get in touch!




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