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Why do people get depressed for no reason?

Author: HeLPAddictions
Published: Mar 14 2013

Depression is a unique illness in some ways, as there are few other conditions where the source of the problem is so difficult to find. Many patients believe they are depressed for "no reason." There is nearly always a reason hidden somewhere though.

A fair proportion of depressed people start feeling down even though their lives appears perfect. It's not uncommon for those in great wealth to become depressed or those who have plenty of friends, a loving family etc.

One skill that those in counselling careers need to learn is to decipher why these individuals are feeling the way they do. Here are five common yet notoriously hard to spot reasons why people can become depressed.

Traumatic incident

A traumatic incident in a patient's life can cause them to experience many symptoms of depression. It is entirely possible for people to completely "block out" traumatic incidents or only start experiencing depressive symptoms many months after the event. It's for these reasons why many depressed people can't link their condition to a specific event.

A loss

A loss, whether through someone's death or the breakdown of a relationship, is another common reason for experiencing the symptoms of depression. Some people might feel unable to carry on without that special person in their life, meaning each day becomes that much harder.

It's sometimes hard to attribute depression to a loss though. A lot of people in that situation go into denial, refuse to grieve and tell themselves that it hasn't affected them, which can often make them feel worse.


Towards the start of the century, many scientists claimed to have discovered a gene which makes depression more likely in certain people. The depression gene can be passed down from parents. Although it doesn't mean that the carrier will definitely suffer from depression, it is thought that these individuals are more prone to feeling down when times get tough.

Studies regarding this gene are ongoing, but this could be an explanation to why some people feel depressed despite the lack of an obvious cause.


The environment around us might have more of an effect on our mood than we realise. Some people can become depressed because of the weather. This is called seasonal affective disorder. Other people become depressed because of a stressful working environment. Even seemingly positive events such as a promotion, getting married or having children can cause enough stress to lead to depression.


Depression is linked to the levels of chemicals in our body, such as serotonin and dopamine. Some people have naturally low levels of these chemicals, which makes them more susceptible to mental illnesses.

Others may find that their levels of these feel-good hormones drop during certain stages of their lives, such as puberty or menopause. Those who aren't familiar with the chemical changes that occur in the body during this time might find it difficult to attribute their low mood to this. Anti-depressants are used to help raise the levels of these chemicals in the human body.

Even after reading this, it can be difficult to spot whether any of these factors have happened to yourself. If you believe you're suffering from depression, you should not be scared to seek medical help. Doctors and counsellors help treat depressed people nearly every single day and can help them on their way to feeling better.


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