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What are the Risk Factors for Depression?

Depression is a condition with many underlying causes. However, some risk factors can give some people a higher chance of developing it later in life. Here are some examples of the risk factors for depression.

What is a risk factor?

A risk factor is a situation or characteristic that can raise the odds of a person developing a particular condition. A person with several risk factors is one who is most at risk for depression. These can range from hereditary, environmental, and situational factors.

What are the risk factors for depression?

Some examples of risk factors for depression include:

  1. Genetics.

Individuals with family members who have depression may have a higher chance of developing the condition later in life. While it’s not clear how to trace depression in our genetic code, it’s still possible that we may inherit it.

  1. Abuse.

Past physical, emotional, and sexual abuse can bring forth various mental illnesses, including anxiety and depression.

  1. Attachment issues.

Children who have traumatic childhoods may grow up as adults with attachment issues. Attachment disorders refer to mood or behavioral disorders where a person cannot form and maintain meaningful relationships. Thus, making them susceptible to developing social anxiety and depression.

  1. Lack of social support.

Lack of support for family and friends alienates a person and makes them feel lonely and misunderstood. This situation can make a person feel depressed and worthless because they perceive themselves as unlovable.

  1. Sudden life events.

Sudden life-changing events can trigger a myriad of conflicts. 

Some examples include:

  • The sudden death of a loved one;
  • Moving to a new country;
  • Adapting to a new culture;
  • Going through a divorce;
  • Giving birth; and
  • Experiencing a miscarriage
  1. Conflict.

Personal conflicts at home or school/work can exacerbate negative feelings toward the self. Disputes involving abusive acts, words, and even violence can affect a person’s self-esteem and mental health.

  1. Chronic illnesses.

Individuals struggling with chronic illnesses like pain, anxiety, cancer, etc., are most likely to develop depression because they feel hopeless.

  1. Side effects of medications.

Some medications may have side effects that can cause low mood and depression. Talk to your doctor to see if that is the case and if you need to seek an alternative.

  1. Maladaptive coping behaviors.

Maladaptive coping behaviors like smoking, drinking, and gambling can put a person at risk. These maladaptive coping behaviors develop because they provide a quick distraction from a person’s painful reality. Eventually, these situations can affect a person’s health and life—thus putting them at risk of depression and hardship.

Are you at risk?

It’s crucial to note that having certain risk factors for depression does not necessarily mean you will eventually develop the condition. Nevertheless, if you do find yourself feeling vulnerable, then it’s best to seek a therapist to sort out your issues. Therapy isn’t just a treatment option but can also be a preventive measure to help you.


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Copyright 2022 | All Rights Reserved.