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15 thoughts on “15 Common Causes of Depression

  • July 13, 2019 at 3:47 pm
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    Thanks, Ms. Hammond, for a useful “anatomy” of some common causes for depression. The term itself (“depression”) is used in many ways in the medical and popular literature, ranging from “a bad hair day” to the form of clinical depression called Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). It’s important to sort out the difference between everyday sadness; uncomplicated grief (as one often sees following the death of a loved one); “complicated grief”; and clinical depression, such as MDD. My colleagues and I discuss some of these distinctions in detail [1]

    It is also important to note that clinically significant depression may be caused by, or associated with, various medical disorders, chronic illnesses, and certain types of drugs. [2] The rates for depression that occurs with certain medical illnesses is quite high [3]:

    Heart attack: 40%-65%
    Coronary artery disease (without heart attack): 18%-20%
    Parkinson’s disease: 40%
    Multiple sclerosis: 40%
    Stroke: 10% to 27%
    Cancer: 25%
    Diabetes: 25%

    I hope these comments will further enhance your discussion, and I also wish to echo your point that clinically significant depression is a highly treatable illness, with both “talk therapy”, medication, or both.

    Sincerely,
    Ronald W. Pies, MD

    [1] https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/836977_1

    2 https://www.mdedge.com/psychiatry/article/63655/medical-illness-causing-your-patients-depression

    3 https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9288-chronic-illness-and-depression

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    • July 13, 2019 at 6:53 pm
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      Thank you so much for your comment, especially for the addition of medical illnesses. I have seen this in my patients with chronic illness or heart conditions, it is important to remember the relationship between medical conditions and depression.

      Reply
  • July 14, 2019 at 1:19 pm
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    Thank you for this much needed and inclusive article about the many causes of depression. I have had many family members, most importantly, my own husband who has suffered one recently, after 25 years of being recovered from an episode. It is a devastating situation, for the person affected by it, and also for those closet to them. It is an upward struggle, but with the right care and medicine, it can be helped. Honestly though, the meds have a dulling effect on their emotions, over time, even though they are much needed
    Many thanks again for your inciteful article.

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  • July 17, 2019 at 6:45 am
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    Thank you for this overview of ’causes’ of depression. However, I would rather call them ‘triggers’. Psychological problems are always the result of a network of interacting factors. A loss or a change does not just cause a depression. Wether a depression occurs depends on the meaning of the change for the person involved and the way he or she deals with it.

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  • July 18, 2019 at 7:46 am
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    Would be interested to know if it is normal to become depressed in old age because I’m 70 now and it feels like I have run out of my quota of joy for life. Besides this there seem to be signs of some kind of slow neurological breakdown breakdown in my head.

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    • July 18, 2019 at 12:38 pm
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      Aging brings many challenges, stresses and often losses, and many older people experience feelings of sadness or sorrow, owing to these changes. However, clinical depression is not a “normal” part of aging, and really deserves a comprehensive professional evaluation. The same with complaints of memory loss, confusion, difficulty planning, inability to do calculations, etc. There may be treatable medical or other causes for these problems in the elderly, and I would encourage assessment by a geriatric psychiatrist. -Starting with one’s family physician or general practitioner is often the best first step, and he or she can then make appropriate referrals. -Ronald W. Pies, MD

      Reply
  • July 18, 2019 at 8:24 am
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    I believe another reason is about what can be going on in the “real world”. If we look at the current political/social environment taking place in the Americas and other countries, I know for me, this has caused incredible anxiety and depression not only now, but for quite sometime – and for the future. One can take action to contribute to act on your beliefs be it marching, volunteering in these areas to help the cause and more, however that may not be enough. Depending on your involvement and awareness of current events, this can be a high cause in depression. If you are not someone who follows such current events, then this is not such cause.

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  • July 20, 2019 at 7:37 am
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    Ronald W. Pies, M.D. should have contacted the author directly at her listed contact address to present the additional information instead of posting information that, in essence, changes the authorship of the article. While the intent may have been to enhance the conversation, it erased it, it had far too much information, and came across as re-teaching. Another approach might have been simply to say…”hey great article and here are few links that discuss clinical definitions ect….”

    Reply
 

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