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What are causes and risk factors for persistent depressive disorder?
As with most mental-health disorders, persistent depressive disorder does not have a single definitive cause. Rather, people with this illness tend to have a number of biological, psychological, and environmental contributing factors that contribute to its occurrence. Different parts of the brain of people with persistent depressive disorder tend to respond differently to negative emotions like fear and sadness, as well as to some physical sensations compared to the brains of people without the disorder. Genetic risk factors for developing persistent depressive disorder include the tendency for those who suffer from this illness to have a family member who also suffers from either persistent depressive disorder, major depression, or a personality disorder. Significant stress during childhood or adulthood (like exposure to neglect, abuse, or community violence) and having negative social supports are some psychosocial risk factors for persistent depressive disorder.