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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What causes depression?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 7


    beyondblue is a national, independent, not-for-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, anxiety and related disorders in Australia.beyondblue is a bipartisan initiative of … View Profile

    Most people assume that depression is caused simply by recent personal difficulties. Depression however, is often caused by the mix of recent events and other longer-term or personal risk factors such as genetics.

    Research indicates that ongoing difficulties, such as living in an abusive or uncaring relationship, or long-term unemployment are more likely to cause depression than recent life stressors. Depression can also run in families and some people will be at increased genetic risk. However, having a family history doesn't mean that you will automatically become depressed if a parent or close relative has had the illness. Life circumstances are still likely to have an important influence on your chances of becoming ill.

    It is common for people to experience depression and anxiety at the same time.

    Common medical causes of depression include:
    •    Some forms of cancer
    •    Low thyroid function
    •    Brain injuries and diseases (eg. stroke, heart disease, head injury, epilepsy, Parkinson's Disease)
    •    Quitting smoking.
    •    Anaemia
    •    Blood vessel disease in the brain due to diabetes and/or hypertension
    •    Some steroid and hormonal treatments
    •    Infectious diseases
    •    Chronic pain

    High-risk personality being:
    •    A lifelong worrier
    •    A perfectionist
    •    Unassertive
    •    Sensitive to personal criticism
    •    Shy, socially anxious and having low self-esteem.
    •    Self-critical and negative

    Common tests done by a doctor include:
    •    Full blood count and biochemistry
    •    Urine test for sugar and protein
    •    Thyroid function tests
    •    Occasionally, a brain scan.

    It's important to note that you can't always identify the cause of depression nor change troubling circumstances. The most important thing is to recognise the depression and to seek help.

    Remember, the sooner you get treatment, the greater the chance of a faster recovery.

  • Mini Gupta


    Ears Hearing is a community-focused audiology practice operated by Audiology Australia accredited audiologist, Mini Gupta. Mini has over 12 years of working experience in the … View Profile

    One of the other very common cause of depression is  permamnent hearing loss. There is lots of evidence indicating people with hearing loss are at a very high risk of depression. This could be the result of the social isolation , communication difficulties and decreased confidence faced by a hearing impaired person. The best thing is , depression due to hearing loss gets better once the hearing rehabilitation plan is put into action  in consultation with a qualified and experienced audiologist(hearing specialists).

  • 2


    Mr Max von Sabler

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist Max is a clinical psychologist working in the public and private health sectors. He currently holds several appointments at Monash Health where he provides … View Profile

    Indeed, depression is unfortunately more common than you may think. Approx. 1 in 5 people have depression.

    The causes of depression are different for everyone. Depression can be caused by changes in your current life or situation, past experiences (especially those that have been traumatic), relationships with other people, work, children and family, as well as genetics. Depression is commonly multifactorial, meaning that it is made up of several different things, rather than a single event.

    Yuu can find out more about depression here:

    You can find out more about trauma here:

    Depression takes many forms and it is really important that you understand what your depression is like. It can include feelings of sadness, loss, emptiness, flatness; it can include thoughts and beliefs about yourself including 'I'm worthless; why should I try; everything is hopeless'; as well as changes to your motivation and the amount of joy you get from things you may have previously enjoyed.

    I have a great reference here ( that explains how depression is different.

    I recommend making an appointment with your GP and a clinical psychologist to discuss your depression. It's mimportant to get the right help, and know that there can be a way forward (even if it doesn't feel as though there is).

    Thanks, Max.

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