What Causes Depression? Drugs used to cure depression?

What Causes Depression?

The several predisposing factors that contribute to Major Depression can be broken up into three categories:

  • Biological
  • Psychological
  • Social factors


Genes, neurons, and hormones are factors that likely play a role in causing depression. The imbalance in the Serotonin hormone due to the presence of the mutation in the Serotonin Transporter gene (5-HTT) may underlie psychiatric disorders.


Psychological causes include childhood trauma, such as parental loss, poor parenting, parental drinking, and family violence.

Social factors

Social causes include bullying, criminally assaulted, and stressful working environments.

Drugs used to cure depression?

The differential diagnosis of depression includes Endocrinopathies (Thyroid and Adrenal disorders), Nutritional deficiencies (Vitamin D and B12), and Neurological causes (Epilepsy and Alzheimer’s). Treatment Major Depressive disorder, like all psychiatric illnesses, is treated using the Bio-psycho-social model of care. A wide range of depression treatments, including mindfulness exercises, psychotherapy, and antidepressant medication.

In some cases, patients who had an acute response to antidepressant medication continue their treatment with electroconvulsive therapy, ECT.

ECT is the most effective and commonly acute treatment for severe major depression where medical professionals pass high doses of electricity through the brain. A questionnaire will determine what stage of depression you are in, and the correct treatment for you.


  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, (SSRIs), for example, Citalopram, are usually first-line used to alter the serotonin normal mechanism, where after carrying a message, serotonin is usually reabsorbed by the serotonin transporter. These medications work by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin and increasing the serotonin level. Possible side effects related to SSRIs include diarrhea, headache, weight gain, and reduced sexual desire.
  • Tri Cyclic Antidepressants (TCAs) are usually second-line, including Imipramine and Clomipramine. Common side effects are dry mouth, and constipation, and can induce cardiac arrhythmia in susceptible patients.
  • Mono Amine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) including Phenelzine and Tranylcypromine is used for those who have not responded to other classes of medications. They are less frequently used due to their life-threatening drug and food interactions. Other side effects include sedation, weight gain, and orthostatic hypotension.
  • Atypical antidepressants, including Bupropion, Mirtazapine, and Venlafaxine, are newer drugs on the market and are as effective as SSRIs and have lesser side effects compared to TCAs and MAO inhibitors. Duration of Treatment Antidepressants take two weeks to start their effect and are indicated for nine months after a response is observed. There is a 40% remission rate with an adequate single trial with an antidepressant. The majority of the rest of the patients show some improvement.

Common failure medications are more frequently due to inadequate dose and duration or human error factors.

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