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What Do You Think Caused Your Depression?

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I am BP1 so pretty definately inherited, there is plenty of mental illness in my family from depression to alchoholism. However my bipolar is much more on the depressive side and I think alot of that has to do with my childhood. Brought up by my single mother who had severe emotional issues and was incapable of any sort of love or real parenting of any sort. We also lived with my alchoholic grandmother until I was eight, in a house that was so disgusting it was pretty close to being a house of horrors, eighteen cats, rooms full of newspapers and junk, everything was filthy and smelt. The only clean room was the one I shared with my mother. Bullied all the way through school until the last two years. Mum married an alchoholic, drug taking gambler who could barely hold a job, so we were always poor. Luckily we just managed to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Mum was severly depressed for most of my childhood and was always cold, mean, emotionally neglectful so the atmosphere at home was bleak to say the least, everyone on eggshells with her moods. I had no refuge in childhood/teenage years, home was horrible, school was worse. Its enough to make anyone depressed never mind the genetics.

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There is too many things that have lead up to were I am now. Mental, physical, sexual abuse. You name it and it probably happened to me. I am 29 now and could finally admit all of this. All these years of holding it in has taken a toll on me and any type of relationships I had and have...

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  • 1 month later...

What caused it? Genetics, probably.

There are a lot of people [in this posting] who seem to have been abused, or lived "poor" lives

or had some severe trauma... But there are as many folk out there in non-depressed-land who have suffered the same, yet they do not present with symptoms of "mental illness."

I come from a good family, had a financially secure - though not well off - background, my brother died tragically, my father died slowly, but I coped without any real ill effect. However, my former employer - the British Government - drove me "mad." They kept me in a job where I was not given any work to do for about 5 years - the boredom (I guess) coupled with the ever increasing feeling that I was useless, that it must be my fault; other people were given work - but I (who asked for work every day - even to the point of standing on my desk and shouting "does anyone have any work for me" once) was given nothing - that had to be because I was useless - didn't it?.

Eventually I snapped, couldn't take the pointless-ness of it, came very close to jumping, and got my Doctor to sign me off sick.

I can think, I do think, I think and think and think - my mind will not accept boredom, now, after the 5 years of torture by my former employer, I am unable to cope with boredom at all.

I wonder if others who've suffered the same "no-work at work" scenario as me, felt this was their dream job (paid for doing nothing), or did some, like me, go quietly barmy? Are they thinkers? Is it that "brain power" (not that I'm saying I am better than anyone else, just different) that makes them able to cope with the boredom?

They tell me that Smoking does not (on its own) cause cancer - it needs you to have a genetic switch that "enables" cancer, you must be genetically programmed to grow cancer cells - is that the same for depression - are we genetically prepared before birth to be sad?

I took the meds, for about 4 years, but all they did was flat-me-out, took away my ability to feel - So now I've stopped them. I can feel again, I have emotions again - I am writing this, because I care again.

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Well - in the midst of my worst episode this summer, my mom dropped on me that both of my grandmothers were diagnosed as clinically depressed. So I'm guessing there's some genetics there....

I've always been very up and down. I'm either riding on the top of the world or it's the worst day ever. There's very little in-between for me. (I'm not manic - but I am very extreme in my emotions.) This has been true as long as I can remember.

I spent a lot of time in therapy working through a move our family made when I was going into grade 7. I had a strong group of friends both at school and away from school where I grew up. We moved here and it all fell apart. I went to a school that was socially very different from where I grew up. There were cliques and you know how girls are in grade 7. I never made strong friends and high school was a nightmare. I was depressed and angry most of my way through grades 7-12.

I picked myself back up after a couple of really not-very-smart years of screwing around after high school and went to college, got a job, went to university and got a new job. I married and bought a house. Everything was okay. I was still emotional - but that was nothing new.

Then my marriage fell apart. He moved back home - it was a mutual decision and I thought I was okay. I had a terrible year at my job last year and that was it. I took more sick days last year than I have in probably the previous 4 years combined. By May I was self medicating with SAMe and St. John's Wort. In July I discovered the pit of clinical depression. I spent the summer struggling with therapy and whether or not to take meds. It wasn't until the last week of August that I decided enough was enough.

So it was a combination of personality, genetics and situation.

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I think, as others have said that it's a sum total of our life experience that causes severe depression and anxiety. I do believe that genetics plays a role but I think that there's so much more to it then that. Our life doesn't always turn out the way we thought it would and the joy seems to go out of life. Human beings tend to gravitate towards pleasure and away from pain, when we experience too much pain and not enough pleasure we tend to shut down, depression sets in and our lives become a constant struggle. Many people feel trapped in jobs and situations they don't like but don't see any way out. Were brought up to believe that were supposed to grow up, get married, get a great career and live happily ever after but it just doesn't always work out that way. Sometimes all we can do is accept the reality that " What is, is ", we just have to accept the hand we were dealt from the deck of cards we call life and make the best of it, what else can you really do?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Multiple bereavements, including my girlfriend knocked down in front of me. An unknown virus meshed with measles that turned flesh eating and cooked my brain, a telesales job which ate my soul, and earnt me a right hand throne to Satan, and date-raped by a friend, glad i made some new ones after. This has led to brain fogging, anxiety and papd, which is internal aggression so i have been beating myself up for about a decade, and really came out in my last relationship, and cost me a girl i truly loved, even though what i did towards the end was probably inhumane in jokes, vocally and being over defensive, and now i am a hermit, guilt riddled and scared to watch any more happen

Life likes to stick it in, and snap it off, and those, and the fact i can't just let it go and get on with my life being the mr. positive i somehow achieved a few years back has left me quite lonely, and a little abnormal. Still not the worst life, but it sure hasn't helped.

I want to put it all behind me, just gotta stop pining over someone i loved the mind of, seemed to have a pure heart, but she was argumentative, asked questions to see if your opinion matched, had severe control issues and was as empathetic to my past troubling me as a ham sandwich. Still, only have myself to blame for what i let myself becoem, a good listener, kind hearted, but with a humour so dark bernard manning would roll in his grave :)

When i see it again, i'll realise life goes on, for now i have been a hermit for over 3 months.

Love, life, people, the mind, it all confuses me


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for me everything crashing down. the depression came back this time because i found out i was pregnant and the baby's father left me within the week of telling him. he moved to co. so now i get to live with my parents and raise my son by myself. mean while i don't have a job either and im not in school. thats what cause mine this time

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I can definitely relate to Hircon's story. I have always felt sort of emotionally detached. I sort of had to learn emotional social cues. My dad and sister are that way, too. It's not that we don't have feelings, they're just kind of hard to get to.

In my case, I definitely think it's genetic. Both of my paternal grandparents died of suicide. Drug and alcohol abuse is rampant on both sides. Even my mom once threw a glass, picked up a shard, then ran to me sobbing and saying that she'd wanted to slit her wrist with the glass. I'm also a writer, and as some others have suggested, creative types to tend to have some issues with depression.

I think that, including this one, I have had two major episodes of depression. The first one took place when I was 14. The second one is going on now. I was able to overcome the first one with help from my parents. They were really tough on me. It helped, though, because they basically stripped my life down to the bare necessities so that I could focus on what was most important and build on from there. At first, all I could do was schoolwork. My parents said I was too smart to be doing poorly (getting Cs) in school and that there was no excuse for it. Once my grades started to improve, I got to do a little more and a little more until, by sophomore year, I was healthy and happy. I was pretty and fairly popular, I got good grades, I got a job and was quickly promoted... life was good. Best of all, I had made it that way. To this day, though, I still have no idea what set that off. One day, I just couldn't function.

I wish I could do that again -- turn over everything but work to the hubby and slowly build my way back up to functional and even flourishing. Unfortunately, adult life doesn't work that way. You still have responsibilities. If you neglect them, there are consequences, and that tends to lead to more stress and more depression.

As with the teen angst bout of depression, I'm not really sure what led to this bout, either. Given my family history, I'm just gonna guess it's genetic.

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  • 2 weeks later...

im so glad i found this site

there are alot that things in my life that have made me the way i am

my Dads affair seeing him hit my mom (he has only done it once and they are still together) the way he used to treat me and my bro and sis, then in high school i was bullied and homeschooled lost contact with everyone didnt go outside much for about 4 years, one day i changed i was a wild child went out got in with a bad/good bunch of people i was drinking at the age of 12 never smoked and did garden shrub a little my bunch of friends saw what was happening to me and stoped me so as much as they were doing the same as me they stopped cus they saw what it was doing to me and brought me back from the nothingness, things got a little better fell for my now hubby at 14 was a dangerous relathionship he hurt me alot with what he used to say and do (has never hit me), i fell preg and we both changed he stopped everything had my baby girl 18 months later got married the year after fell preg with my son i can put on a brave face but my head has always been full of confussion, one day it all hit me like a ton of bricks i was crying everyday and suicidal went to the docs and now im finally getting help im on cipralex 10mg and taking it one day at a time glad i found this site no one has to reply to me but just putting the words down knowing i wont be judged is fab

just thought i was always the one that picked up the pieces plus my mom has lupus so i do lots for her and my nan plus my dad had a heart attack 2 years ago and again fell on me to do the running lol

Love Carrie xx :hearts:

Edited by caz
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First of all, thank you to everyone who shared their stories. Some of them were really hard to read. I've been looking around this site for a couple of days now, and avoided this type of post because I was afraid it would bring me down. Today, I'm feeling quite a bit better, so I decided to read these stories.

As far as me, I think it's a genetic tendency that is sometimes triggered by stress. As far as I can tell, this is my 4th bout of depression. I had one, maybe two, when I was a kid. I remember being about 10 or 12, and I was sad all the time and couldn't sleep. When I told my mom, all she said was to "think happy thoughts when you go to bed." Most of my childhood, my family was too busy dealing with my older sister (she was molested by a family "friend" as a child, possibly assaulted as a teenager, in mental hospitals twice as a teenager for threatening suicide, etc.) to worry about me. I was the quiet one who excelled in school, had few friends, and basically just tried not to upset anyone. I remember once thinking about ******* myself when I was about 12 or 13.

The next time, I had just gotten married. I was majorly depressed within a couple of weeks. He was verbally and emotionally abusive (yelling at me, punching holes in walls, threatening to leave me all the time), wouldn't keep a steady job so I had to carry all the financial burden, etc. When I was pregnant, after being married for almost 3 years, I started having early contractions due to stress. I finally realized I couldn't take it anymore and I couldn't raise my daughter in that situation. I moved back in with my parents and filed for divorce a few months later. Off and on during the marriage, I would cry a lot, sometimes sneaking out of bed at night to go in the other room and cry, because he didn't like me to show any kind of negative emotion. He also tried to separate me from friends and family, and also cheated on me. Once I left, I was horribly depressed for a few months. I went to domestic abuse counseling for a couple of months and felt better, but didn't really deal with everything. I quit going because I was busy taking care of a newborn. I mostly dealt with things, although I struggled.

A few years ago, when my daughter was about 3, I had a more mild episode where I cried sometimes and couldn't sleep. I didn't do anything about it, and it passed after a couple of months.

This time, nothing majorly traumatic happened, just several stressors adding up. My boyfriend (we've been together 4 years now, and he's wonderful) suffers from chronic depression, will likely be on meds all his life, went through a depression earlier this year. That was hard for me to deal with, and he thinks it left me feeling anxious and alone (he doesn't blame me for it). One of my uncles died suddenly in July. I wasn't close to him for the last 10 years or so, but did see him sometimes, and I have a lot of good memories of him from my childhood. My boyfriend and I went on vacation this summer, and I met his family for the first time, which was great but also extremely stressful for me. I was terrified they wouldn't like me (they did). Earlier this year, my company let my boss go and gave me her job (plus the job I had already been doing), so it's a lot more work and responsibility, which has been stressful. My mom has been depressed for the last couple of months due to job stress, but won't do anything about it. My grandmother has been in and out of intensive care for a while, having heart problems.

So for several months, I was crying almost every day, feeling generally helpless and worthless, and not sleeping. My boyfriend has been great, very supportive. He suggested a few times that maybe I needed to get some help, and I kept refusing. Finally I realized it was because I felt that I had somehow done this to myself, by not being strong enough, so I didn't deserve to have a doctor fix it for me. A few days after that, I made the appointment. It's been a little over a month now. I started on 20mg of citalopram for a month, then last week it got increased to 40 mg because it was working some but not enough. He also added 25 mg trazopone to help me sleep, and the last two nights I've actually slept all night - for the first time in months. I'm also seeing a therapist.

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I know my father suffered from mild depression in the past (in fact my family GP told me, much to my surprise) and that he smokes illegal drug to 'calm him down' which could be indicative of an anxiety disorder...so based on that, genetics. Also, my aunt on my fathers side has bi-polar...so theres a possibility it runs on my fathers side...I'd say its genetics. I've felt very 'off' since 12...

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I strongly believe my depression was triggered by an emotionally/verbally abusive relationship. I say triggered because I may be genetically predisposed to acquiring depression, though I know no one in my family with it. My brain is all screwed up though. I mean

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  • 1 month later...

Definately my external environment. The tumultuous relationship i have formed with my parents & the feelings of numbness i have subsequently developed as a result of my father's illness has definately caused my depression. I don't think that my depression is a result of a chemical imbalance in my body. Prior to my father's illness, i had felt so content with life.

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Not exactly sure...I have been depressed for a long, long time. I guess the death of my baby sister. I think it is also helped because I struggle in school, which depresses me more, which makes me do worse in school, which depresses me more...

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Hi all, good topic

I think my depression and anxiety starts off from way back when i was developing in my mother. Father emotionally abused

my mom during pregnancy and after pregnancy so I probably picked up what she was feeling. Then my dad tried ******* my mom when

I was around two and i kind of witnessed it. My dad was a total nut case at the time. We lived in an isolated area and he would leave the house

at night to go shoot at animals and any lights he saw. We also lived in a haunted house at the time, that is what they told me. Really weird things

would happen that they couldn't explain. Wild dogs would show up at the door of the house and make growling noises. It wasn't a fun time. My mom would

have nightmares and wake up with unaccountable scratches.

Anyways my mom tried to divorce him after he tried ******* her., but he cried at the hearing and said he would change his ways.

They also moved out of the house and life improved a bit for everyone in the household.

He only hit her a a couple of times after that, but emotionlly abused my mother, myself, and brother over the years. I really feared my dad while

I was growing up and never realized how dysfunctional at times my family was until I took a Family Psychology course in college.My mom

never divorced him and is still with my dad today. I think my parents feel a little guilty about the events that happened over the years. I've been diagnosed as having bipolar 2.

So they have paid for my education in hopes that I will have a better life. I am soon to get my bachelors and very proud of the progress I've made over these tough times.

I love my dad and mom(my dad had a severely traumatic childhood, and I feel that he genuinely tried as best as he could to help raise my brother and

I. I think we all suffered together and managed to get through the bad times. But I am paying today

for these bad times today. I think I am.Will my bipolar ever go away? Probably not. But now that I am away from the home environment, my illness and social skills

have improved and I am thankful for living with my boyfriend. He has supported me a lot through hard times. Does environment and genetics play a part.

I think it does, my brother is more calm like my mom and has never had to take medication. He is very successful and is about finished with his Phd at the age of 24. I am

a year older than him. He has always been social and being around friends has helped him cope. I on the other hand isolated myself growing up. Females tend to isolate themselves while growing up in a dysfunctional household, while males get in fights and my brother was aggressive in elementary. For a while he was constantly getting in fights.

But enough about the past, I know people have had it worse than me and I am probably actually lucky compared to other people. So I am doing the best I can

and taking it day by day. I honestly feel that the past has made me stronger.

Best wishes to all,


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Actually, I was not depressed as a child or young adult. Mine started when I had several traumatic events happen one right after another, in a short period of time. They were very high on the stress scale and I believe it just became too much which caused the chemistry in my brain to run amok.

Gentle Sun

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Mine started by crying spells just about every day after I turned 38. Had no idea why I was so sad all the time.

Finally spoke to a coworker whom I knew had gotten off for awhile and had been hospitalized. He told me the company had a help line. I called it and they recommended several psychiatrist in the area. He had seen it before and without telling me exactly why had me sent to be evaluated at an Environmental Behavior section of a hospital. They knew what it was before all the testing though they didn't tell me till after all the test.

I had used and been exposed to several Electrical Cleaning solvents which were by then banned. However the bann came to late for a lot of people. I and many had Chronic Solvent Encephalopathy ( brain damage) which in my case resulted in Chronic Severe Depression. Some people the chemicals affected there liver, lungs, kidneys, but in many it caused severe depression.

After trying most all and combination's thereof of SSRI's. I finally found relief with MAOI's by that time I was 50 years old.

They work for me.



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