Life stressors are seen to be related to precipitating depression.
Life Events: The first episode of depression is often preceded by a stressful life event, this increases the risk of future episodes even in the absence of external stressors. The life events known to cause depression are
- Loss of a parent before the age of 11 years.
- Loss of a spouse
- Loss of a job or in business
- Financial loss/difficulties
- Divorce or separation
- Failure in love
- Failure in exams
- Family conflict
- Any unexpected death in the family/friends
Physical illness: Physical illness by itself is a stress but there are certain categories of diseases which are known to cause clinical depression. There are medical conditions that are known to cause depression:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s dementia
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- HIV infection
- Certain cancers (Pancreas)
- Cushing’s disease
- Diseases of kidney (End Stage).
Substance (Drug) Abuse and Alcoholism: Many illicit drugs cause depression either on intoxication or during the withdrawal state (i.e. when individual is off the drugs). These drugs are :
- Tranquilizers like diazepam
There are certain categories of prescribed medications that are also known to cause depression. These are :
- Certain Painkillers
- Certain Oral Contraceptive Pills
- Anti epilepsy drugs
- Anti ulcer drugs
- Steroids, anabolic steroids
Heavy metals and toxins like gasoline, paint, organophosphates, nerve gases, carbon mono oxide can also cause depression.