What causes depression?
A meta-analysis of 26 research studies by Risch et al. (2009) shows that while the risk of experiencing depression is correlated with the number of adverse life events we experience, the risk of depression is not correlated with genetics, or the interaction between genetics and life events.
This is really helpful to know. It means depression is treatable, although not necessarily with the remedies we are most used to. The life events that cause depression may not be closely related in time, adverse childhood events can be just as powerful in triggering depression many years later. It’s often the case that people experience depression with no idea what is causing it or why they feel the way they do. This is why therapy can be helpful, to explore and find a different relationship to what is happening here and now, and how there and then may be impacting our current reality.
Depression can come about for many and varied reasons. Not everyone is clear about what may have contributed. You may not feel you have had adverse life events. Sometimes, though, it’s the impact of what didn’t happen that is the problem, the drip drip drip of ongoing childhood neglect or mis-attunement.
What is clear is that depression is not the fault of the person experiencing it, it’s about the experiences they have had, not who they are.
If you experience the symptoms of depression then seek help, it doesn’t have to be this way. To explore online psychotherapy, get in touch