That's a pretty vague question. Certainly your surroundings and environment can have a significant effect on mood and sense of well being, but as for causing clinical depression by itself? No, I don't think that is possible. It could either exacerbate it or ameliorate it somewhat though.
You mention moving away from her parents, but you aren't really very clear on whether that's a positive or negative thing for your wife.
But overall, I don't think that kind of think can cause actual clinical depression in someone. It could cause someone to feel sad, or feel "depressed" in the sense that we all feel "depressed" sometimes, but that's not the same thing as an actual mental illness.
Last edited by fossilapostle; 03-25-2009 at 02:50 AM.
It probably depends on the source of her depression. Not all depression is equal. For me, for example, it's caused by stress of separation when I was adopted. I only have serious depressive episodes when 1) I move or 2) A relationship breaks up.
So whether moving can worsen your wife's depression could, in part, depend on what does trigger it. Being further from her family, if they were part of her support system, could worsen it. But you said it was just the next county--so that doesn't seem too far.
I hope she is seing a therapist, especially if it is getting worse.
Depression usually runs deeper imo. Therapists want to know the basics like parental and sibling relationships, friendships from the formative years. Into adulthood and job satisfaction, relationships with the opposite sex, kids, goals, etc.