What are the main factors that cause depression?
Depression is a common mental illness that leads to low mood and avoidance of activity that can severely impact an individual’s wellbeing. Depression is also known as major/clinical/unipolar depression and major depressive disorder. The DSM-5 states that to be diagnosed with depression a person must suffer from at least five out of nine symptoms, either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure must be present. Other symptoms include; weight loss (or gain), insomnia (or hyper insomnia), fatigue, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, psychomotor retardation (or agitation) and recurrent suicidal thoughts. A person must have these symptoms daily for a minimum of two weeks, and they must not be due to another disorder such as drug use. Origins mean the start or foundation of something. Early life is a non-specific term and can cover a flexible age range for this essay the term early life will be birth to adolescence. The environment is all of the external, influencing factors that surround us. Thus, the environment can mean many things; it could be literally the environment, socio-economic status, attachment, family etc.
One factor in early life environment viewed as being a causal factor of depression is attachment style. The attachment has been defined as a strong and lasting emotional bond that ties someone to another. Ainsworth and Bell identified three types of attachment; secure attachment (type B), Insecure avoidant (type A) and insecure resistant/anxious (type C). A fourth attachment type, disorganised attachment (type D) was later identified by Main and Solomon. Research has shown that children who form attachments after the first year of life are more likely to develop insecure or dysfunctional attachment types. Those who do form insecure or disorganised attachments are at an increased risk of depression. Sroufe found having a disorganized attachment style in childhood strongly predicted future mental health issues. It has been proposed that insecure attachments may add to the risk of developing depression by increasing dysfunctional attitudes. Reinecke and Rogers measured adult attachment style, dysfunctional attitudes and depression in a sample of 54 psychiatric outpatients who had been diagnosed with the major depressive disorder. They found a relationship between having an insecure attachment style and severity of depression. This relationship was moderated by dysfunctional attitudes.