Depression: Causes and Risk Factors

Behind each case of depression, there is myriad of different possible causes.


The causes of depression may be external (bereavement, stress, professional or personal problems, loneliness), hormonal (pregnancy, menopause, problems with the thyroid gland), physical (CVA, infection, etc.) or even due to a genetic predisposition.

The term endogenous depression refers to depression suffered by subjects largely due to a family history of depression. There is not necessarily a triggering factor. These people sometimes feel that a depressive episode is coming and in some cases will alert their doctor. Sometimes, there are seasonal factors that influence the onset of depressive flare-ups, which peak in winter. Sufferers of depression commonly also have sleep-related problems: hypersomnia, major fatigue (asthenia), difficulty getting out of bed, etc.

The term reactive depression is used when a causal factor can be identified. Times of major stress, trauma or exhaustion can be the start of a depressive episode. The people most at risk are those who cannot recover from the loss of a loved one (a period of mourning after a death is considered to be a normal event and not a sign of depression), who feel under intense stress at work or even people who are addicted to alcohol or other toxic substances (drugs etc.).

Last updated: 9/3/19

avatar Carenity Editorial Team

Author: Carenity Editorial Team, Editorial Team

The Carenity Editorial Team is made up of experienced editors and specialists in the healthcare field who aim to provide impartial and high quality information. Our editorial content is proofread, edited and... >> Learn more

Fact sheets

Newsfeed - Depression

Read the article
Read the article