What Causes Depression, Stress and Anxiety?


Depression, stress and anxiety causes are numerous, possibly more numerous than at any other time in the past. The mood disorders are sometimes described as modern illnesses. There have always been some cases of psychological disorders, but the widespread incidence of the mood disorders is a relatively new phenomena.

Understanding the causes of the disorders has been a goal of modern science. While some aspects of brain function are not completely understood, there are some things that we do know. Here are the known and suspected causes.


Heart disease, thyroid disorders, cancer, stroke and Alzheimer’s are among the illnesses that can lead to depression and other mood disorders. It is easy to understand why a chronic illness would cause a person to become depressed.


Medications used to treat heart disease; high blood pressure and high cholesterol are among the drugs that can contribute to either a depressed state or a state of anxiety. Prescription and over-the-counter sleeping pills are depressants, as are tranquilizers and alcohol.

Although not always thought of as a drug, caffeine is one of the common stress and anxiety causes. Anyone suffering from nervousness or excessive anxiousness should limit their intake of caffeine or cut it out completely.

Recreational drugs can also cause mood disorders, because of the effects they have on brain chemicals, also known as neurotransmitters. Cigarette smoke contains nicotine and other chemicals that affect neurotransmitter function.

Finally, anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs can sometimes cause increased depression and/or anxiety. New warnings are required on some packaging to call attention to those risks.

Life Changes

Losing a job, getting divorced, money problems and loss of a loved one can cause a person to become depressed. Sometimes, the depressive mood resolves after a while, sometimes not.

Moving, changing jobs, pressure at work and even happy things like taking a vacation, getting married or having a baby are among the stress and anxiety causes. In some cases, it is an accumulation of small irritations that lead to anxiety disorders, irrational fears and feelings of being out of control. The irritation may come from toxins in the environment.

Exposure to Toxins

We live in a pretty toxic environment. There is pollution in the air and water. Toxins are accidentally a purposely deposited in foodstuff. Cosmetics, personal care products, household cleansers, bug spray, weed killer, air fresheners and dozens of other items in your home contain toxins.

The safety of each of those products has been determined by assuming a person would only be exposed to one. You may be exposed to hundreds of different toxins every day.

Artificial fragrances are among the most irritating and they are known to contribute to depression and nervousness. Many of the chemicals in our environment are toxic to the central nervous system, the mood control center.

Nutritional Deficiencies and Imbalances

Nutritional deficiencies and imbalances are depression, stress and anxiety causes. In every nutritional deficiency, mood changes and disorders are among the symptoms. Fatigue is another symptom and is often a major complaint among depressed and stressed out individuals.

Nutritional deficiencies in developed countries were believed to be rare until doctors starting doing more testing. Today, vitamin D deficiencies are a common problem and that is just one example.

Soil depletion caused by factory farming has lead to nutrient depletion. It is harder to get all of the nutrients you need every day from the foods that you eat, because fruits and vegetables simply are not as nutritious as they once were.

Many of the foods you eat may be over-processed or over-cooked. Cooking reduces the nutritional value of most foods. In processing, many nutrients are removed. For example, processed grains used in white flour and similar products contain none of the wholesome bran and very little of the essential fiber.

Depending on your food tastes, you may not be getting enough of certain nutrients that are essential for normal brain function. You’ll learn more about those nutrients in my next article. The depression, stress and anxiety causes can be addressed naturally and safely. You can be happy without being medicated.