The causes and effects of depression Essay

          The causes and effects of depression


Modern psychiatry, psychology and medicine have defined depression as a disorder of the nervous system with associating abnormal expressive behavioral patterns. These patterns are reflected as notable symptoms which have related psychological, social and medical implications. Experts in this field from time to time have attempted to group these implicative patterns to arrive at realistic causes for the disease. To this extent depression has been mainly categorized as clinical and non clinical. However, the American Association of Psychiatrics through clinical studies has been able to identify a number of other categories linked to clinical depression (American Association of Psychiatrics, 2010).

Causes of depression

Causes of depression vary according to the symptomatic manifestation. Clearly, psychiatry has proven regardless of the clinical predispositions that depression is not really caused by ingestion of a drug, but rather socio economic infiltrations. (Schatzberg, 2002).

More importantly, honest attempts have been made to classify the causes according to the two major categories which define the disorder. However, there have been controversies within the discipline to differentiate between a cause and effect. According to Dr Alan Schatzberg, what many psychiatrists considered to be effects are actually causes and vise versa. Therefore, there has been a difficulty in differentiating between causes and effects since both overlap in diagnostic definition. (Schatzberg, 2002).

Alternatively, the major recognizable causes have been acknowledged as being grief due to loss or extreme trauma in the short term and are classified exogenous. Then, there is trauma emerging from childhood experiences involving physical and sexual abuse; unfulfilled expectations from parents or loved ones and threatening situations such as, verbal abuse. This accounts for the endogenous or chronic causes. (Murray, 2005).

Effects of depression

As was highlighted earlier it is the belief of modern psychiatrists that the causes and effects of depression overlap in terms of a diagnostic definition. Consequently, a strategic consensus was drawn to declare that the effects of depression likewise have both exogenous and endogenous influences.

Therefore, effects have been manifested by symptoms which are exogenous (short term) and endogenous (long term). Initially, the outcome of depression is perceived by prolonged sadness beyond the normal time frame of a few days or weeks. Usually, it is accompanied by an anxious empty mood or moodiness; a feeling of hopelessness or uncertainty about life and events. These are the short term demonstrations. From a long term perspective it becomes thoughts of suicide; suicidal tendencies; suicides; mental illness such as psychosis, severe disability and death. (Sullivan, 2003)


Statistics prove that depression is one of the leading causes of disability internationally. (Sullivan, 2003)  If no appropriate intervention is available then it becomes a major public health concern. How to address its causes and ultimate far reaching consequences which overlap is still being debated by social psychologists; psychiatrists; social planners and experts in the field of medicine.


Murray, Bob (2005). Depression Fact Sheet: Depression Statistics and Causes.Retreived 17th July 2010.

Schatzberg F. Alan (2002) Major Depression: Causes and effects. Retrieved 17th July, 2010.

Sullivan Mary (2003). The Wide Spread Effects of Depression. Retrieved 17th July, 2010