As I research and test various theories on the causes of depression the list on this page acts as my road map for testing and ruling out potential causes. Each cause that I explore has it’s own dedicated article that documents my research and findings. If you know of any potential causes that are not on this list please contact me at brian@undepressed.me

Genetics

Causes
  • serotonin-transporter gene (5-HTT) – Short version of the gene
  • corticotrophin-releasing hormone gene (CRHR1) – Absences of this gene
  • G1463A gene variation – Presences increases likelihood of major Depression
Tests
Treatments
  • Gene Therapy

Temperament

Causes
  • Trait Inheritance or life experiences unconsciously change perception of the world and create cognitive distortions.
Tests
Treatments
  • Psychosomatic therapy

Brain Function

Causes
  • Reduced size of Hippocampus and Prefrontal Cortex
  • Reduced neurotransmitters or neural activity in key areas of the brain (Amygdala, Thalamus, Hippocampus)
  • Reduced rate or inhibition of neurogenesis
  • Neural receptors may be over sensitive or insensitive to a specific neurotransmitter
    • Potential Culprits
      • Acetylcholine
      • Serotonin
      • Norepinephrine
      • Dopamine
      • Glutamate
      • Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
Treatments
  • Antidepressants
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy

Stress

Causes
  • Chronic stress
  • Heightened & sustained level of corticotropin-releasing hormones (CRH)
Treatments

Childhood Trauma

Causes
  • withdrawal of loved ones affection
  • death of a parent
  • Physical, sexual or verbal abuse
Treatments

 

Environmental & Geographical

Causes
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (Reduction of serotonin production due to shorter days)
Treatments

Medical Problems

Causes
  • Hypothyroidism (Excess of thyroid hormone – Mania)
  • Hypothyroidism (Reduction of thyroid hormone – Depression)
  • Heart Disease
  • Degenerative Neurological condition – Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Huntington’s disease
  • Nutritional deficiency of Vitamin B12
  • Endocrine disorders affecting parathyroid, or adrenal glands. (over or underproduction of hormones)
  • Viral Infection (Mononucleosis, hepatitis, HIV)
  • Cancer
  • Erectile dysfunction (Promotes psychological depression)

 

Treatments

Circadian Rhythm

Causes
  • Reduction of daylight due to shorter days increases production of melatonin.
  • Melatonin secretion happens faster than 6 hours before midpoint of sleep.
    • Normal Melatonin production:
      • Sleeptime = 11pm
      • Sleep midpoint = 3am
      • Melatonin Secretion Begins = 6-9pm
    • Abnormal Melatonin production:
      • Sleeptime = 11pm
      • Sleep midpoint = 3am
      • Melatonin Secretion Begins = 11pm
Treatments

Hi, I’m Brian.

Entrepreneur and Creator of undepressed.me

I’m helping to eliminate the stigma against mental health issues and to connect other entrepreneurs to the information, support and treatments needed to overcome depression.

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