As with the causation of an individual episode, many different factors contribute: genetic, environmental, psychological, and social. This may be disappointing to some, considering the huge amount of research that has gone into the question. However, a simple 'magic bullet' theory is never going to be sufficient to account for the complexity of the condition and its causation.
However, mental disorders are not different from physical disorders in being somewhat 'messy' as regards causation. Consider, for example, tuberculosis; we know that the tubercle bacillus is required to produce the clinical condition of tuberculosis. But we also know that other factors, such as heredity and socio-economic status, influence whether the bacilli go on to cause clinical tuberculosis.
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