The # 1 Cause of Depression, According to Science – Eat This Not That

The # 1 Cause of Depression, According to Science - Eat This Not That

Mark Pollack, MD, board-certified psychiatrist and chief medical officer for Myriad Mental Health, maker of the GeneSight test explains that depression is a treatable, but serious mental health condition. “It is characterized by feelings of sadness, helplessness, hopelessness, negativity, sleep and appetite disturbances, difficulty concentrating and other symptoms lasting longer than two weeks,” he tells Eat This, Not That!


Feeling sad or anxious often or all the time
Not wanting to do activities that used to be fun
Feeling irritable‚ easily frustrated‚ or restless
Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
Waking up too early or sleeping too much
Eating more or less than usual or having no appetite
Experiencing aches, pains, headaches, or stomach problems that do not improve with treatment
Having trouble concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions
Feeling tired‚ even after sleeping well
Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
Thinking about suicide or hurting yourself

Depression impacts everyone differently and can manifest itself in various ways. The CDC offers several symptoms associated with it. 

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Dr. Pollack explains that while there is no blood test for depression, there are screening tools that doctors can use to evaluate whether a person is exhibiting the symptoms of major depressive disorder. “This screening is important because, while 7 in 10 adults said that they are more conscious about their own or others’ mental health challenges than they were before the pandemic began, less than half of adults are very confident they can recognize if a loved one is suffering from depression, according to the GeneSight Mental Health Monitor,” he explains. 

RELATED: Virus Experts Warn Don’t Go Here Even if It’s Open There are many possible causes of depression. “It is believed that people may be predisposed to depression by a number of factors including changes in brain function, a family history of depression, have suffered stressful life events, adverse social determinants of health like poverty, or have other medical problems,” Dr. Pollack states. 

If it’s the latter, the CDC reports, for instance, that “evidence shows that mental health disorders—such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD—can develop after cardiac events, including heart failure, stroke, and heart attack.”  RELATED: 7 Ways You’re Ruining Your Body After 60, Say Experts

Your Age
Major Life Events
Personal Conflicts
Death of Someone Close to You
Your Gender—women are twice as likely as men to become depressed
Medications or Substance Abuse
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Dr. Pollack reveals that scientists have yet to determine a single cause. “It may be caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors,” explains the CDC. Although there is so single cause, there are causes that are the #1 most common: Shutterstock