Major Depressive Disorder, or depression, is by far the most common mental illness in Canada. It affects people from all ethnic, socioeconomic and religious backgrounds. It is estimated that 8% of Canadians will suffer from depression at some point in their lives. With such prevalence, much study and analysis has been done to find a root cause. Three different perspectives are studied in the hopes of finding this origin. The biological perspective, focuses on organic roots, the psychological perspective, which studies how the individual view themself and their world, and the social perspective, which focuses on how external events affect the individual. Despite all of this research, a single root cause has yet to be identified. This led to the development of the biopsychosocial perspective. This theory states that no one cause for depression is responsible, but rather interrelationships of the biological, psychological and social roots are all simultaneously responsible. Although the causes of depression can be viewed from just a biological, psychological or sociological perspective, it is best approached from the biopsychosocial perspective.
The first portion of the biopsychosocial theory is the biological perspective. This perspective focuses on the deficit of certain neurotransmitters called monoamines. This theory is called the monoamine hypothesis of depression and focuses on three particular neurotransmitters: serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. The first neurotransmitter related to depression is serotonin. A shortage of serotonin is related to anxiety, obsessions, and compulsions. The second neurotransmitter that can be related to depression is norepinephrine. A lack of norepinephrine is correlated with a lack of energy, attention, and interest in life. Finally, a deficit of dopamine has also been linked to a lack of attention, motivation, pleasure, interest and reward in life. While lacks of