–   relationships/no relationship

–   work/no work

STRESS–   money worries

–   illness

–   partner/spouse stresses

–   children

–   viruses

–   always busy

–   childhood traumas





       MAKE-UP     –  genes (family members with depression)

–   a relationship with good communication

–   personality strengths and weaknesses

(worrying,  nervous, timid,

too perfectionistic)

–  feeling helpless

–  feeling a victim












We all experience stress on a daily basis.

Most of the stress is something we are used to, and barely registers as stress.  However, unpleasant and worrying events, produce a burst of adrenalin and a mental sense of distress.  This involves many brain areas especially the hypothalamus and pituitary, which control our hormones and many chemical reactions inside us.  Frequent and / or severe reactions like this eventually exceed our brain’s capacity to cope, and we start to slide into a mixture of anxiety and depression.


What causes depression?

The simple answer is a breakdown in brain chemicals due to stress.  Depressive illness is a chemical imbalance in our brain, in particular involving chemical messengers between brain cells, called neurotransmitters.  The serotonin neurotransmitter pathway, also called the 5HT pathway, is the area we currently believe is most involved in depressive illness. The norepinephrine (noradrenalin) pathway is also an area of ongoing research and treatment in depressive illness.   We believe most modern antidepressants produce their benefits by working to improve the function of these and other neurotransmitter pathways, and improving the effectiveness of these neurotransmitters in the transmission of their information.  However, there is a huge amount of ongoing research attempting to define precisely what goes wrong in depressive illness (and indeed trying to understand how antidepressants work exactly).



How bad the illness will be, and whether or not we recover without treatment, are determined by the severity of the stresses, and our own internal resistance to stress and depression as well as the reactions of these around us at this time.




Important Disclaimer:  This site is medical information only, and is not to be taken as diagnosis, advice or treatment, which can only be decided by your own doctor.