12.9.1 Exploring why the person might have become unwell
This discussion with your patient partly depends on what you have learned from the story of the person. Reflect this back. For example, if there has been an ongoing difficulty (e.g. job problems) or a loss event (e.g. death in the family), you can say that these things may have contributed. You can then tell them that these difficulties do trigger changes in the brain that can lead to depression. But let them also know that depression is common and that we don’t always know why people become depressed. Some people associate depression with personal weakness. In that case it is important to explain that the condition has nothing to do with personal weakness and that they should not blame themselves for becoming depressed.