What are the causes of depression?

What are the causes of depression?

An open letter to the german depression assistance foundation

According to a press release of the foundation german depression assistance "every year in germany, 5.3 million people suffer from a treatment-exercised, unipolar depression". That was around 6.5% of the population, with women being affected more than twice as often. In addition, in the recesses of psychic disruptions play an ever greater role: according to german pension insurance, in 1983, only 8.6% of the trap was about depression and other mental disorders. In 2002, it was already 28.5%, 2016 even 42.9%."

These numbers to go to underline the social importance of the topic – and so i do not primarily mean the alleged costs for social work and the economy (causing mentally ill financial damage?To). The suffering for those affected and their owners can be enormous – and even if the number of self-tilts has been around 10 years since the early 1980s.000 almost halved, it is still tragic if a person from despair takes life.

Affected over 60%

Therefore, it is to be buried that the foundation german depression assistance together with the deutsche bahn stiftung wants to explore and improve the knowledge about the topic. On the 28th. November were now the results of the survey "germany barometer depression" presents. It gives "blatant knowledge" in the population. Above all, depression were considered too little as a disease in the medical sense. Also about the causes many people were mistaken. One reason to look at the results and their interpretation more accurately.

First of all, it is striking that from the almost over 2.000 representative surveyed more than 60% had to do with depression: so 22.9% stated that they have ever been diagnosed with them; at 36.6%, a more appristed or acquaintance was affected; 3.3% treated or advised people with depression. Thus, only a minority of 37.1% remains, which had no direct contact with the disruption.

Biology allegedly underlayed

The majority of respondents have already had personal experiences with depression. It should therefore be amed that they were relatively well informed about the topic. Nevertheless, the foundation german depression help draws a refreshing conclusion:

The deutschland-barometer depression shows that in the german population, the importance of stressful life events for the emergence of depressive diseases overheard and at the same time underestimated the importance of the predisposition. Almost all germans see the causes of depression in fate (96 percent) and burdens at work (94 percent). That the depression also has biological causes, is less known. So only 63 percent know the rough relevance of the hereditary component of depression. Only two-thirds know that during the depression of the metabolism in the brain is gone.

Foundation german depression assistance

This message was picked up by the media. For example, zdf reported on the same day:

Only 66.3 percent of the population and 85 percent of those affected see a metabolic language in the brain as a possible cause for depression. The coarse part of the respondents sees stressful life events such as fatelessness and problems with fellow human beings or at work as a common exclusive for depression.

Spiegel online made it even "enormous knowledge". Together with the (supposedly false) thinking about the causes of psychological disruption, the survey is summarized on an infographic, in which it is also about the mode of action of psychotropharmaca and the therapy features:

What are the causes of depression?

the collection of the study of the foundation german depression aid: red stands for the (allegedly) wrong convictions, blue for the loud dr. Christian sander of the research center depression proper conviction. Source: press material of the foundation.

Opinions on causes

We do not discuss the idea, chocolate or composite was helped against depression. After all, only almost 20% of respondents had this conviction – in those with personal experience with depression, only 13.8% (chocolate or subesis) or 4.7% (compute). If we come to a more serious point instead: what are the causes of the disruption? And how specifically the drugs work?

The foundation or its representatives play here two perspectives against each other: destiny stress, burden on the workplace and problems with fellow human beings against metabolic conference in the brain and inheritance. In the questioning, the following picture resulted in this funf aspects of a total of eleven:

What are the causes of depression?

opinions on the funf most important possible causes for depression in the total taxation (grun) and under affected (magenta). Shown here are the assessments as "relevant" or "very relevant".

We see that already in the overall taxation all funf factors to pay the relevant causes of depression: each over 60%, in those affected even over 70%. The clearest differences between the two groups is indeed for the biological level: around 63% or. 66% against 77% and 85%. That the affected stronger believe in the genetic-neuronal influence was allowed to lie with their contacts with experts, who offered them appreciation, or also to the experience that it was better after a treatment with antidepressants.

Biological against psychosocial causes

Anyway, all fun factors are considered relevant – according to the foundation reports, however, the psychosocial causes (fate, work stress, problems) are reviewed, the biological (metabolism, genes) undervalued. Let’s take a look at the relevant facts in detail.

That was, firstly, in the press release the statement: "the fact that depression also has biological causes is less known … Only two-thirds know that the depression of the metabolism in the brain is gone." and, secondly, on the graphic: "depression always has biological causes" as "antidepressants … Act specifically against the functional expiry in the depression in the brain."

So it’s crucial about biological causes. Without becoming a completely basic and raising the question, what causes are and how to measure them (but i liked the authors of the press release, but i would like to put on the way again, again on the difference between correlation, so simultaneous occurrence, and causality ), i liked the following:

Either one thinks of the spirit as anyway biologically conditioned (depending on the nervous system), then there is anywhere for all psychic advances, including mental disorders, biological causes; and then the statement is that mental biological causes, simply trivial. Or you can make this difficult, metaphysical question in front and distinguishes at the level of processes that can act on the psyche, for example, psychosocial opposite biologically.

Alleged miscover

This thinking seems to be subject to the point of view of the german depression assistance foundation, when criticized, people have been the psychosocial contribution and the biological signs. Due to the survey, we can even quantify that: if the factors mentioned for the funf, the mean values for psychosocial and biological expect the following picture:

What are the causes of depression?

according to the survey, 65% of general population (grun) held biological causes of relevant, 91% psychosocial causes. For those affected (magenta) are 81% against 94%.

The challenge of the foundation is that the values for biology should be high and for psychosocials. I liked that: that’s right? Of course, for decades, more than a century after the causes of psychic disorders like depression are sought. In order to summarize the situation briefly, it was said that with the psychiatric diagnostic manual dsm-iii of 1980, there were statements about the causes – in the art: atiology – the trunks.

Farewell to the cause teaching

At that time, american psychiatry, followed by many other parts of the world, from the psychodynamic approach sigmund freud. This was increasingly considered scientific. Why was the atiology, the doctrine of the causes, from the so-called psychiatric bible? Because one had to surrender that one did not know the causes of mental disorders; or that the knowledge was hypothetical and controversial.

But now it is that even more than 30 years later in the latest edition of the manual, the dsm-5 of 2013, statements about the causes still missing; and because you are still looking for you. In addition, despite the largest effort and financial resources, it has not succeeded in finding a reliable biomarker for only a single one of several hundred distinguished psychic disruptions, which is called, a feature in the body / brain, with which one could diagnose the tram. So what the foundation deutsche depressionhilfe, which has escaped the international research community so far?