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The cause of depression can be linked to factors such as trauma and stress, and physical factors.  For example, the loss of a loved one or pressure from starting a new job could lead to a person becoming highly stressed. Similarly, some medical conditions, such as cancer and heart conditions, can contribute towards depression due to physical weakness and stress they create.

There is no single cause of depression and can be developed for different reasons. Leading to depression has many different triggers. For some, an upsetting or stressful life event—such as bereavement, divorce, redundancy and financial concerns—can be the cause.

What are the consequences of depression?

Untreated depression increases the chance of risky behaviour, such as drug or alcohol addiction. It can also ruin relationships, cause problems at work and make it difficult to overcome serious illnesses. Clinical depression—also known as major depression—is an illness that involves the body as well as the mind.

People who are depressed cannot simply “pull themselves together” and be cured. Without appropriate treatment, including antidepressants and/or psychotherapy, untreated clinical depression can last for weeks, months or years. However, appropriate treatment can help most people with depression.

Alcohol and drug abuse are common among people with clinical depression, especially teens and young and middle-aged males. It is very important to encourage these people to get help because they are more likely to attempt suicide.

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