What Causes Depression ?
Not that long ago a client came to my office who was extremely depressed. They were told by another health care professional that the depression they were experiencing was something that they would need to learn to live with and accept. The client reported that after the experience they became even more depressed. No surprise that this would be a predictable response. It might be possible that the client misunderstood what the therapist was saying, but in any case the session was not helpful and only served to make the situation worse. When I was a young therapist it was common to use terms such as indigenous depression versus exogenous depression. Indigenous Depression meant that the cause of the depression was physiologically based, where as Exogenous depression was environmental based and meant at the time that it was caused by conditions such as poor family communications, parenting or external stressors. As cognitive behavioral therapy became more popular the belief that environmental conditions had a more predominant impact became more prevalent. Today it is more commonly believed that individuals have a physiological pre-disposition to depression and that environmental conditions are primary to the development of depressive experiences. At this time it is commonly believed that our thoughts and beliefs have a major impact on our emotions and personal experiences. Does this mean that our emotions and experiences are often generated by thoughts?