What causes depression?

Andrew Huberman AI:

Depression is a complex condition with multiple contributing factors. Here are some key points:

  1. Hormonal Changes: Certain life events such as childbirth, menstrual cycles, and menopause, which are associated with shifts in hormone levels, can trigger depression. This is thought to be related to the thyroid system or the cortisol system.

  2. Stress: More stress is correlated with more bouts of major depression across the lifespan. Long-term stressful episodes can significantly increase the risk for major depression. The stress system is associated with the release of cortisol, which can impact the way neuromodulators like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin function.

  3. Neurological Factors: Major depression can also be linked to certain neurological mechanisms. For instance, anhedonia, a general lack of ability to enjoy things, is a common symptom of major depression.

Remember, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional if you're experiencing symptoms of depression. They can provide a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.