cause of depression

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cause of depression

Postby befriend » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:22 pm

what are the factors that cause depression, is it inverted rage or amplified sadness. or hate.
what is depression made out of
metta, Befriend
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Re: cause of depression

Postby Ben » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:33 pm

It depends whether you mean clinical depression or sadness/melancholy.
And if you are looking for a scientific/medical explanation, a Buddhist explanation, a combination or something else.

There is a vast amount of literature on clinical depression in medicine. Its a very well understood condition.
kind regards,

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Re: cause of depression

Postby SarathW » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:22 am

Hi Befriend
With my experience only thing I can tell you is that if you understand and follow Buddha’s path that will be the cure for all ailment in life.
My experience include depression, high blood pressure, obesity related deceases and few more.

Having said that I still go to my doctor several times a year!

I listen to my doctor as much as I listen to Buddha.
In fact I listen to anyone who give me advise. But I am the one who take decisions.
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Re: cause of depression

Postby hermitwin » Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:54 am

depression is a complex illness.
having lived with a sufferer, i know that every case is different.
what is the cause?
there is no simple answer.
just like the question, why is someone happy?
from the scientific point of view, it is chemical imbalance in the brain.
this can be shown in MRI.
Some patients do not respond to drugs.
I guess my advice is see a doctor, take the meds.
get counselling/therapy.
if you know someone suffering from depression, just be patient
and support them in whatever way you can.
the sufferer doesnt want to be depressed, they cant help it.
it is an illness, not a choice.
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Re: cause of depression

Postby ground » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:19 am

befriend wrote:what are the factors that cause depression, is it inverted rage or amplified sadness. or hate.
what is depression made out of
metta, Befriend


From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: cause of depression

Postby danieLion » Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:24 am

Most depression is caused by distorted cognitions, or as the Buddha put it in the Dvedhavitakka Sutta
Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking & pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness (Majjhima Nikaya 19).


The most common cognitive disortions are:

1. All-or-nothing thinking: You see things in black and white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.

2. Overgeneralization: You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.

3. Mental filter: You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively so that your vision of all reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that discolors the entire beaker of water.

4. Disqualifying the positive: You reject positive experiences by insisting they "don't count" for some reason or other. You maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences.

5. Jumping to conclusions: You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion.

-Mind reading: You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you and don't bother to check it out.

-The Fortune Teller Error: You anticipate that things will turn out badly and feel convinced that your prediction is an already-established fact.

6. Magnification (catastrophizing) or minimization: You exaggerate the importance of things (such as your goof-up or someone else's achievement), or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny (your own desirable qualities or the other fellow's imperfections). This is also called the "binocular trick."

7. Emotional reasoning: You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: "I feel it, therefore it must be true."

8. Should statements (musterbating): You try to motivate yourself with shoulds and shouldn'ts, as if you had to be whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything. "Musts" and "oughts" are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment.

9. Labeling and mislabeling: This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself: "I'm a loser." When someone else's behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label to him, "He's a damn louse." Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.

10. Personalization: You see yourself as the cause of some negative external event for which, in fact, you were not primarily responsible.

From: Burns, David D., MD. 1989. The Feeling Good Handbook. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.

From this you can see how effective Buddhist practice can be to help one overcome depression. When we train the mind using "mindfulness practices" we have very powerful tools to help us overcome our twisted (greedy, hateful, deluded) thinking.
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Re: cause of depression

Postby cooran » Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:43 am

Hello all,

''CAUSES OF DEPRESSION
Introduction
Unlike other illnesses or disorders, there is no simple explanation as to what causes depression. In general, depression can be due to a number of factors including stresses which can range from mild to severe, combined with vulnerability or predisposition to depression that can result from biological, genetic or psychological factors.
Each type of depression is associated with different mixtures of causes. For psychotic or melancholic depression, physical and biological factors are relevant. In contrast, for non-melancholic depression, the role of personality and stressful life events are important.

Genetic factors
There is strong evidence that genetic factors play a significant role in a person’s predisposition towards developing depression, especially melancholic depression, psychotic depression and bipolar disorder. No single gene is likely to be responsible, but rather a combination of genes.
The predisposition to develop depression can be inherited. The genetic risk of developing clinical depression is about 40% if a biological parent has been diagnosed with the illness, with the remaining 60% being due to factors within the individual’s own environment. Depression is unlikely to occur without stressful life events, but the risk of developing depression as a result of such an event is strongly genetically determined.

Biochemical factors
Our knowledge of the human brain is still fairly limited, therefore we do not really know what actually happens in the brain to cause depression.
It is likely that with most instances of clinical depression, neurotransmitter function is
disrupted. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that carry signals from one part of the brain to the next. There are many neurotransmitters serving different purposes. However, three important ones that affect a person’s mood are serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine.
In normal brain function, neurotransmitters interact with a series of nerve cells, with the signal being as strong in the second and subsequent cells as it was in the first. However, in people who are depressed, mood regulating neurotransmitters fail to function normally, so that the signal is either depleted or disrupted before passing to the next nerve cell.

CAUSES OF DEPRESSION
Physical illness
In a simple sense, physical illness can lead to depression through the lowered mood that we can all experience when we are unwell, in pain or discomfort, confined and less able to do the things we enjoy.
Illness can also change the body’s functioning in a way that leads to depression. Even if the illness isn’t making us feel down we can still suffer from depression. For example:

It is known that certain cancers can produce a depressive illness – in these cases a person might be quite unaware that they are suffering from depression

Compromised immune functioning might play a part in the emergence of depression, although further research is needed to establish this link
The ageing brain
As we age, our brain’s general functioning can become compromised and this can affect the
neurotransmitter pathways which influence mood state. Three reasons for these changes are worth mentioning in relation to depression:

Late onset depression: Elderly people who develop dementia may also develop a severe depression for the first time; this type of depression is commonly of a psychotic or melancholic type and reflects the disruption of circuits linking certain basal ganglia and frontal regions of the brain

These brain changes can reflect an ageing process, particularly in people who are vulnerable to this kind of ‘wear and tear’

In others however, high blood pressure or mini-strokes (often unnoticed by the individual and their family) may contribute. Good blood pressure control can reduce the chance of depression in some people with this problem
Gender
Gender is a partial but incomplete explanation of why people may develop depression. Equal numbers of men and women develop melancholic depression. However, studies have shown that there is a much greater likelihood of women developing non-melancholic depression than men. Some of the explanations for this are:

Women are more likely than men to ‘internalise’ stress, thereby putting them at greater risk of developing depression

Women with unsatisfactory marriages or who are caring for a number of young children are also highly over represented among samples of depressed people

Hormonal factors commencing in puberty may account for the increased chance in women of developing anxiety (a precursor to depression) or depression

CAUSES OF DEPRESSION
Stress
It is important to recognise that nearly every individual can be stressed and depressed by certain events. Most people get over the stress or depression within days or weeks while others do not. Ways that stress can lead to depression include the following:

Past or long-standing stresses can increase the chances of an individual developing depression in later years e.g. growing up in an abusive or uncaring family may increase the risk of developing depression in adult life

Events that affect a person’s self-esteem such as the break-up of a close relationship or marriage

Feelings of ‘shame’ for example, thinking they have not lived up to their own or others’ expectations
Personality
Our research has shown that people with the following personality types are more at risk of developing depression than others. Those who are high on the first four factors are at distinctly greater risk to depression (especially non-melancholic depression):
1. High levels of anxiety, which can be experienced as an internalised ‘anxious worrying’ style or as a more externalised ‘irritability’
2. Shyness expressed as ‘social avoidance’ and/or ‘personal reserve’
3. Self-criticism or low self-worth
4. High interpersonal sensitivity
5. Perfectionism is somewhat protective against the onset of depression but if depression occurs, it can result in longer episodes
6. A ‘self-focused’ style is likely to be at greater risk for brief depressive episodes only
Key points to remember

There is no single cause for depression; rather it’s a combination of stress and a person’s vulnerabilty to developing depression

The predisposition to developing depression can be inherited

Other biological causes for depression can include physical illness, the process of ageing and gender

Stress can trigger depression but understanding its particular meaning to the person is important

Certain temperament and personality styles pose risks for developing non-melancholic depression
Where to get more information

Watch our Online Depression Education Program - a guide to understanding and managing depression: http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au (Depression)


with metta
Chris
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Re: cause of depression

Postby danieLion » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:29 am

Hi Chris,
While I appreciate parts of your post, it not only offers very few solutions and therefore little or no hope, but basically misses the point. Most depression is caused by cognitive distortions, as research into cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) shows.

On this and how it relates to the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and the superiority of CBT over other interventions see:

Is cognitive-behavioral therapy more effective than other therapies? A meta-analytic review.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Mood Disorders: Efficacy, Moderators and Mediators

The empirical status of cognitive-behavioral therapy: A review of meta-analyses

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Proven Effectiveness

An excerpt from this last one:

3. Yes, CBT examines the origins of problems
Dr. Allen apparently is unfamiliar with anything that has been written from the cognitive therapy perspective over the last 35 years on case conceptualization, the origin of early maladaptive schemas, socialization effects on attribution style, the effects of trauma, the implementation of programs to reduce vulnerability to depression, or the use of induced imagery to recall and re-construct early childhood experiences. It is remarkable to me that a commentator on the leading approach in psychotherapy (CBT) could be so ill-informed. Yet, he is. Indeed, in Beck's earlier books in the 1970s—Cognitive Therapy and the Emotional Disorders and Cognitive Therapy of Depression—Beck describes the formation of early schemas (during childhood) that then direct selective attention and maladaptive coping. Moreover, in both the first edition and second edition of Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders Beck and colleagues describe the formation, persistence, and maladaptive coping of early schemas. In addition, other scholars-such as Guidano and Liotti (Cognitive Processes and Emotional Disorders: A Structural Approach to Psychotherapy, 1983) integrate Piaget and Bowlby in their model. Jeffrey Young's Schema Focused Therapy (a branch of CBT) places considerable emphasis on early maladaptive schemas. Marsha Linehan's DBT model emphasizes the importance of early invalidating environments. In addition, sophisticated cognitive therapists utilize case conceptualization, developing a model of the origins of early schemas, linking them to underlying core beliefs and maladaptive assumptions and developing strategies to modify the patient's coping and belief system. Books by Judith Beck, Jackie Persons, Willem Kuyken, Christine Padesky, Robert Dudley, and Larry Needleman all attest to the importance of more complex case formulations, which draw on our understanding of the origins of schemas. Work by Emily Holmes and her colleagues at Oxford on the use of imagery induction and restructuring also draw on reworking early memories. In regard to resistance, which Allen mentions, I have written an entire book on this topic, Overcoming Resistance in Cognitive Therapy, and my colleagues, such as Dean McKay, Jon Abramowitz, and Steve Taylor have recently published a book entitled, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Refractory Cases: Turning Failure Into Success. I could go on, but I believe the objective reader understands that cognitive therapy is not a simplistic approach.
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Re: cause of depression

Postby cooran » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:46 am

Hello Daniel,

We will have to agree to differ. The Black Dog Institute is an educational, research, clinical and community-oriented facility offering specialist expertise in mood disorders - a range of disorders that include depression and bipolar disorder. The Institute is attached to the Prince of Wales Hospital and affiliated with the University of New South Wales.

These are the Researchers - many of them are highly esteemed academics and practitioners:
http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/pub ... /index.cfm

with metta
Chris
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Re: cause of depression

Postby Alobha » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:36 am

danieLion wrote:Hi Chris,
While I appreciate parts of your post, it not only offers very few solutions and therefore little or no hope, but basically misses the point. Most depression is caused by cognitive distortions, as research into cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) shows.


I think Coorans answer was very good (so was yours).
What one can understand very well from Coorans list is, that the question for "the one" causal reason is hard to answer from an empirical point of view. It's common to not talk of causes, but rather of Risk Factors; meaning factors that are associated with an increased risk of developing a disorder. It's not really causal, but there are lots of factors associated with an increased risk: Ranging from demographics like age and gender to environmental and genetic factors, many factors have an impact on life - it's only logical that they can also affect the chance to develop a disease because of a negative impact.

danieLion wrote:The most common cognitive disortions are: [...]


As for the maintaining factors of depression, I'd say cognitive distortions is a big part. If kamma in mind, speech or action wouldn't change depression at all, there would be no way to work with this or other disorders. And that's where one can do a lot. Also, the mentioned risk factors are not causal because you can be part of a risk group and not develop a disease or disorder. From my perspective, this is very logical, too. Because you can be a part of those risk groups, but it's a big difference what you actually do. Right conduct in mind, speech and action is a great protector - to the extent that, like the Buddha Dhamma shows, it leads to freedom from suffering. So the question for causes is a bit different from those of maintaining factors and of what one can do about it. I think however, it's good to know that there are factors where one can't blame oneself. It doesn't mean that one has to resignate but it's good if people deal with self-blame or self-stigmatizing (which is not uncommon). Of course the other important part is that instead of resignating, there are those sustaining factors one can definitly work on and if one does, one can be free from suffering :smile:

Best wishes,
Alobha
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Re: cause of depression

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:36 pm

In examining my own particular condition, in terms of brain chemistry vs. thought processes, I've wondered for decades which is the cart and which the horse. All I can say is perhaps its a combination of both.

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Re: cause of depression

Postby BlueLotus » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:01 pm

Ben wrote:It depends whether you mean clinical depression or sadness/melancholy.
And if you are looking for a scientific/medical explanation, a Buddhist explanation, a combination or something else.

Can you give a Buddhist explanation to clinical depression please?
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Re: cause of depression

Postby Iddhimant » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:19 am

befriend wrote:what are the factors that cause depression, is it inverted rage or amplified sadness. or hate.
what is depression made out of
metta, Befriend


It is a combination of physchological and physiological factors.
Sadness, jealousy, angst, yearning, frustration, anger, guilt, confusion, all these kinds of emotions contribute to depression.

Furthermore the brain of certain individuals may be predisposed towards depression, in that serotonin and similar receptors release or do not release the appropriate amount of ions to maintain a healthy brain happiness. That is why chemical agents can improve mood. For example, antidepressents are typically serotonin-uptake inhibitors, and work in exactly the same way as banned substances (such as ecstasy).

The best way to get over depression is relaxation and accomplishing your goals through diligence.
Whatever is, is right.
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Re: cause of depression

Postby danieLion » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:47 am

Alobha wrote:
danieLion wrote:Hi Chris,
While I appreciate parts of your post, it not only offers very few solutions and therefore little or no hope, but basically misses the point. Most depression is caused by cognitive distortions, as research into cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) shows.


I think Coorans answer was very good (so was yours).
What one can understand very well from Coorans list is, that the question for "the one" causal reason is hard to answer from an empirical point of view. It's common to not talk of causes, but rather of Risk Factors; meaning factors that are associated with an increased risk of developing a disorder. It's not really causal, but there are lots of factors associated with an increased risk: Ranging from demographics like age and gender to environmental and genetic factors, many factors have an impact on life - it's only logical that they can also affect the chance to develop a disease because of a negative impact.

danieLion wrote:The most common cognitive disortions are: [...]


As for the maintaining factors of depression, I'd say cognitive distortions is a big part. If kamma in mind, speech or action wouldn't change depression at all, there would be no way to work with this or other disorders. And that's where one can do a lot. Also, the mentioned risk factors are not causal because you can be part of a risk group and not develop a disease or disorder. From my perspective, this is very logical, too. Because you can be a part of those risk groups, but it's a big difference what you actually do. Right conduct in mind, speech and action is a great protector - to the extent that, like the Buddha Dhamma shows, it leads to freedom from suffering. So the question for causes is a bit different from those of maintaining factors and of what one can do about it. I think however, it's good to know that there are factors where one can't blame oneself. It doesn't mean that one has to resignate but it's good if people deal with self-blame or self-stigmatizing (which is not uncommon). Of course the other important part is that instead of resignating, there are those sustaining factors one can definitly work on and if one does, one can be free from suffering :smile:

Best wishes,
Alobha

Thanks Alobha,
I'm quite aware of the distinctions you've delineated, but the Buddha's teachings seem to me to come down more on the causal than the correlational side, with all his talk about karma, dependent origination and mental proliferation.

So, what causes suffering?

"Maintaining factors" covers what skillful mental states to pursue and develop but not which ones to abandon or prevent from arising in the future. Are not the causes of suffering (the kind we can be free from) psychological, mental, and infused with discursive thought? This is fertile ground for cognitive distortions, is it not?

The causes of suffering, like the causes of true happiness and freedom, come from within. If the Buddha were alive today and I showed him a list of the cognitive distortions I listed above and asked, "Do you think thinking like this will cause suffering (the kind you can be free from)?" I bet he'd say, "Yes."
Last edited by danieLion on Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: cause of depression

Postby danieLion » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:52 am

BubbaBuddhist wrote:...brain chemistry vs. thought processes...

Could be a false dichotomy.
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Re: cause of depression

Postby danieLion » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:57 am

BlueLotus wrote:
Ben wrote:It depends whether you mean clinical depression or sadness/melancholy.
And if you are looking for a scientific/medical explanation, a Buddhist explanation, a combination or something else.

Can you give a Buddhist explanation to clinical depression please?

Yes, can you?
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Re: cause of depression

Postby cbonanno » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:19 pm

befriend wrote:what are the factors that cause depression, is it inverted rage or amplified sadness. or hate.
what is depression made out of
metta, Befriend


Depression can be caused by both psychology and physiology. Drink enough beer and most people will show signs of depression, and the same will happen if one doed not get enough sunlight to make Vitamin D, so we know depression can have a chemical origin. Have a son pass away and it can spiral into clinical depression if one is not steeped in Right View, so we know it can be situational as well.

Keep in mind that The Eight Fold Path does not cure depression, it cures suffering and the depression cause by suffering. I still have depressions, I know it is biological because the genetics is very obvious in my family. But I can tell you that I do not SUFFER from depression anymore. The pain is still there but the suffering has been eased thanks to the Buddha's teachings.

If you try to cure depression with meditation you will fail. The fact that meditation rids depressive symptoms is just a side effect of practice.
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Re: cause of depression

Postby cbonanno » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:22 pm

danieLion wrote:
BubbaBuddhist wrote:...brain chemistry vs. thought processes...

Could be a false dichotomy.


Could be...? :)
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Re: cause of depression

Postby danieLion » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:20 am

cbonanno wrote:The fact that meditation rids depressive symptoms is just a side effect of practice.

So "side effects" and "cures" are mutually exclusive?
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Re: cause of depression

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:44 am

Greetings,

danieLion wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:
Ben wrote:It depends whether you mean clinical depression or sadness/melancholy.
And if you are looking for a scientific/medical explanation, a Buddhist explanation, a combination or something else.

Can you give a Buddhist explanation to clinical depression please?

Yes, can you?

Just throwing this out there for your consideration (so please don't try to "debate" me on it - I'm not here for that)...

Sloth (thīna), Torpor (middha)
http://www.zolag.co.uk/Cetasikas/html_n ... Doubt.html

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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