Depression is a disease. It's not caused by personal weakness. When you have depression, chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters are out of balance.
Most experts believe a combination of family history (your genes) and stressful life events may cause depression.
Life events that can cause depression include:
- A death in the family or of a close friend;
- Problems at work or in relationships;
- Finding out you have a long-term health problem, such as arthritis, heart disease, or cancer.
Just because you have a family member with depression or have stressful life events doesn't mean you'll get depression.
You also may get depressed even if there is no reason you can think of.