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The three-pronged attack of depression triggers.

Some types of depression run in families, suggesting biological vulnerability can be inherited. With bipolar disorder, studies found that those with the illness have a different genetic makeup than those who do not get ill. However, not everybody with the genetic makeup that causes vulnerability to bipolar disorder will have the illness. Depression can also occur in people who have no family history of it. But whether inherited or not, major depressive disorder is often associated with changes in brain structures or brain function.

People who have low self-esteem, or who are readily overwhelmed by stress, are prone to depression.

Whether this a psychological predisposition or an early form of the illness is not clear.

Medical illnesses such as a heart attack, cancer, Parkinson's disease, and hormonal disorders can lead to depressive illness. Also, a serious loss, difficult relationship, financial problem, or any stressful change in life patterns can trigger a depressive episode.

Often, a combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors is involved in the onset of a depressive disorder.

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Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 4, 2005
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