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The Big Ten

Updated: Sep 11, 2020

Dr Nedley Identified a variety of causes of depression, the majority of which fall into one of ten categories with a few examples in each "hit" category:


Family history of depression/anxiety

Family history of suicide


Early puberty in girls

History of depression/anxiety in adolescence

Not being raised by biological parents

Experiencing abuse as a child


Low dietary tryptophan

Low Omega-3 fat intake

Low folic acid intake

Low Vitamin B and D

Diet high in cholesterol, saturated fat, and sugar

Marked weight loss

Low Carbohydrate diet


Absence of social support

Negative, Stressful life events

Grandparents raising grandchildren

Family member suffering from an addiction


High lead/mercury levels

Circadian Rhythm

Regular Insomnia

Sleeping more than 9 hours per day

Sleeping less than 6 hours per day



Tobacco Use

Heavy Caffeine Use

Illicit Drug use


Little to no exercise

Not regularly getting in sunlight

Rarely breathing fresh air

Living at high altitude

Medical Condition

Head injury

Heart disease

Hepatitis C

Uncontrolled diabetes

Postpartum severe stress

Inadequately treated thyroid disease


Frontal Lobe

Regularly TV/Movie/Screen use


Little abstract reading/thinking

Negative and irrational thoughts

You can take Dr Nedley's Depression & Anxiety Assessment Test which identifies many of your personal causes of depression & anxiety online at

To access a modified version of the Hit Assessment: Adaptation of the Nedley Questionnaire

Or download a PDF:

Adaptation of the Nedley Depression Reco
Download • 68KB

*This is not an exhaustive list.

*All credit goes to Dr Neil Nedley for information on this post.

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