Neil Nedley MD, Francisco E. Ramirez, MD First Published November 10, 2014 Review Article
Depression is often diagnosed using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-5) criteria. We propose how certain lifestyle choices and non-modifiable factors can predict the development of depression. We identified 10 cause categories (hits or “blows” to the brain) and theorize that four or more active hits could trigger a depression episode. Methods. A sample of 4271 participants from our community-based program (70% female; ages 17-94 years) was assessed at baseline and at the eighth week of the program using a custom test. Ten cause categories were examined as predictors of depression are (1) Genetic, (2)Developmental, (3)Lifestyle, (4)Circadian Rhythm, (5)Addiction, (6)Nutrition, (7)Toxic, (8)Social/Complicated Grief, (9)Medical Condition, and (10)Frontal Lobe. Results. The relationship between the DSM-5 score and a person having four hits categories in the first program week showed a sensitivity of 89.98 % (95% CI: 89.20 % - 90.73%), specificity 48.84% (CI 45.94-51.75) and Matthew Correlation Coefficient (MCC) .41 . For the eight-week test, the results showed a sensitivity 83.6% (CI 81.9-85.5), specificity 53.7% (CI 51.7-55.6) and MCC .38. Overall, the hits that improved the most from baseline after the eighth week were: Nutrition (47%), Frontal lobe (36%), Addiction (24%), Circadian rhythm (24%), Lifestyle (20%), Social (12%) and Medical (10%). Conclusions. The Nedley four-hit hypothesis seems to predict a depressive episode and correlates well with the DSM-5 criteria with good sensitivity and MCC but less specificity. Identifying these factors and applying lifestyle therapies could play an important role in the treatment of depressed individuals.