Environmental causes of depression are concerned with factors that are outside of ourselves. They are not directly related to brain function, inherited traits from parents, medical illnesses, or anything else that may take place within us. Instead, environmental events are those things that happen in the course of our everyday lives. These may include situations such as prolonged stress at home or work, coping with the loss of a loved one, or traumatic events. Sometimes researchers refer to these as sociological or psychosocial factors since they bring together events that happen out in society with the inner workings of a person’s mind.
Locus of control refers to the extent to which people feel that they have control over the events that influence their lives. When you are dealing with a challenge in your life, do you feel that you have control over the outcome? Or do you believe that you are simply at the hands of outside forces?
If you believe that you have control over what happens, then you have what psychologists refer to as an internal locus of control.