Q:

Can you be depressed for no reason?

A:

Quick Answer

A person can become depressed for any number of reasons, or for no reason at all. However, there are generally some patterns in brain activity and neurochemical activity that are related to depression. Major depressive disorder is categorized as a mental disorder in both the DSM-5 and the ICD-10. Depression is also common in bipolar spectrum disorders and in dysthymia, which has recently been renamed persistent depressive disorder.

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Can you be depressed for no reason?
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Full Answer

Depression generally comes about as the result of a mood disorder, sometimes as a result of a personality disorder, which is another type of mental disorder, or a general medical condition such as Lyme disease, cancer, chronic pain or stroke. External and environmental conditions can at times lead to depression, but terms such as sadness, grief, remorse or despair are generally more appropriate. In the general public, the word depression is often used as a synonym for sadness. However, this is an incorrect use of the term because depression is a more complex condition than just general sadness.

Depression also involves cognitive, behavioral and physiological changes in the suffering person. Depression can lead to other mental conditions such as anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure) and even psychosis (a break from reality). Oftentimes patients suffering from depression also show signs of other psychiatric conditions. In the medical community, an overlap in conditions is known as comorbidity.

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