A risk factor makes the chances of having a health problem higher. You can have depression with or without any of those listed below. But the more risks you have, the higher the chances of having depression. Talk to your doctor to get help lowering your risk.
Mental Illness in Your Family
If you have people in your family with mental health problems, your risk is higher for depression. This is also true if you have a spouse or partner with it.
Long term Health Problems
Changes in your body can also be linked to changes in your mental state. Long term problems from a stroke,
heart attack, cancer, or HIV can lead to depression. This can also happen after a head injury. If you've had bouts of depression in the past, it can make the chances of having them again much higher.
Alcohol and substance use disorders are linked with a higher risk of depression.
Stressful changes in your life can lead to bouts of depression. These changes can be from problems in your marriage or job, with money, or injury or combat. Problems from your past can also lead to depression. This can happen because of any type of abuse, violence at home, bullying, or a parent in the military who left home.
Women have depression about twice as often as men. Changes in hormone levels may be part of the reason. This can happen with your monthly periods, pregnancy,
miscarriage, after having a baby, or
Women also have stress at work and home. This is added to being the main caretakers for children and older parents.
Depression can happen at any age, but the risk is higher for older adults. Many times, it's not found or it's not treated the right way. It can be ignored as a common sign of aging, but this isn't the case.
Depressive disorders. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/psychiatric-disorders/mood-disorders/depressive-disorders. Updated May 2018. Accessed October 8, 2018.
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