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5 Risk Factors For Depression

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Depression Risk Factors: Who Gets Depression?

Treatment works best when you start it early. If you think you may have depression, talk with your doctor. They can help you figure out if you do and give you ways to feel better.

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American Academy of Family Physicians: “Depression in Older Adults: What it is and how to get help.”

National Institute on Aging: “Don’t Let the Blues Hang Around.”

National Institute of Mental Health: “Depression: What Every Woman Should Know.”

American Psychiatric Association.

Family History Of Depression

Having a family history of depression can increase your risk for developing the condition too. Remember, though, that there are many ways you can support your mental health, even if you dont have any symptoms of depression. Eating well-balanced meals, staying active, getting enough sleep, managing underlying health conditions, and managing stress all go a long way in supporting your mental health.

Its also important to know the symptomsand signs of depression so that if you can receive treatment as soon as possible.

Statistical Analysis And Umbrella Review Criteria

Based on the above calculations, we assessed the umbrella review criteria to classify the strength of associations as convincing , highly suggestive , suggestive or weak .Reference Solmi, Correll, Carvalho and Ioannidis28,Reference Bellou, Belbasis, Tzoulaki, Evangelou and Ioannidis50Reference Barbui, Purgato, Abdulmalik, Acarturk, Eaton and Gastaldon55 Precisely, meta-analyses were considered without bias if they met the following criteria: 1000 cases, random-effects P-value 106 of the meta-analysis, low or moderate between-study heterogeneity , 95% prediction intervals that excluded the null value, and absence of both small-study effects and excess significance. Associations were considered highly suggestive when the following criteria were met: 1000 cases, highly significant summary associations and 95% prediction intervals not including the null value. Suggestive evidence criteria required 1000 cases and P-value 0.001 in the random-effects model. Weak association criteria required only P-value 0.05. Associations were not considered significant if the P-value in the random-effects model was 0.05. All P-values were two tailed.

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When You Cant Avoid The Diagnosis

At Next Step 2 Mental Health, we know how profoundly any mental health condition can impact all aspects of your life, and if youre struggling now, you dont have to wait until it gets worse before reaching out for help. Our compassionate, non-judgmental team offers a variety of treatments, including medication and therapy.

Depression In People With Dementia


Depression is common in people with Alzheimers and related dementias. Dementia can cause some of the same symptoms as depression, and depression can be an early warning sign of possible dementia. Suicide attempts may also increase in people recently diagnosed with dementia. It is important to have support systems in place to help cope with a dementia diagnosis and possible depression symptoms that follow. More research is needed to determine effective depression treatment options for people with dementia.

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Beyond Treatment: Things You Can Do

Here are other tips that may help you or a loved one during treatment for depression:

  • Try to be active and exercise.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself.
  • Try to spend time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative.
  • Try not to isolate yourself, and let others help you.
  • Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately.
  • Postpone important decisions, such as getting married or divorced, or changing jobs until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
  • Continue to educate yourself about depression.

Depression In Women: 5 Things You Should Know

Being sad is a normal reaction to difficult times in life. But usually, the sadness goes away with a little time. Depression is differentit is a mood disorder that may cause severe symptoms that can affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities such as sleeping, eating, or working. Depression is more common among women than men, likely due to certain biological, hormonal, and social factors that are unique to women.

This brochure contains an overview of five things that everyone should know about depression in women.

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Are You In A Crisis Or Considering Suicide

If youre having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, you can access free support right away with these resources:

  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call the Lifeline at 800-273-8255, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • The Crisis Text Line. Text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
  • The Trevor Project. LGBTQIA+ and under 25 years old? Call 866-488-7386, text START to 678678, or chat online 24-7.
  • Veterans Crisis Line. Call 800-273-8255, text 838255, or chat online 24-7.
  • Befrienders Worldwide. This international crisis helpline network can help you find a local helpline.

Prevalence Of Mental Health Disorders In Students

DEPRESSION | Symptoms, Risk factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention! 🙁

Literature showed that mental health problems are common phenomenon among students with a higher prevalence compared to the general public. For example, surveying more than 2800 students in five American large public universities demonstrated that more than half of them experienced anxiety and depression in their last year of studies . Similarly, a survey of Coventry University undergraduate students in the UK showed that more than one-third of them had experienced mental health issues such as anxiety and depression over the past one year since they were surveyed . In agreements with these results, Maser et al. found that prevalence of mental health disorders including anxiety and depression was higher among medical students compared to the general non-student population of the same age. These studies demonstrated that the prevalence of SAD among students has remained higher than the average population over the past two decades.

SAD are not only prevalent among students, but also persistent. By conducting a follow-up survey study of students over two years, Zivin et al. demonstrated that more than half of students retain their higher levels of anxiety and depression over time. This can be due to a lack of SAD treatment or persistence of existing risk factors over time.

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Depression And Older Adults

Feeling down every once in a while is a normal part of life, but if these feelings last a few weeks or months, you may have depression. Read this article to find common signs and symptoms of depression, treatment options, and if you or your loved one may be at risk for depression.

On this page:

Depression Through A Cultural Lens

Theres a link between the processes of socialization, social roles, and gender-related stereotypes. The incentive for women to fully develop emotions empathy such as guilt leads to many women feeling sad and desperate more often.

When it comes to socialization, women have a harder time processing anger, being assertive, and putting their own self-fulfillment needs first. Theyre also more likely to be passively confrontational, focused on emotions, and dwell on negative experiences .

Another place we see a difference in vulnerability to depression is in the tendency to put high importance on the quality of relationships with other people. Feeling responsible for other peoples well-being is also a big risk factor. Both of these things are more common in women .

The symptoms of depression in men are often not as intense due to the differences in socialization and socially stimulated lifestyles. These psychosocial aspects basically mean that they experience, confront, and express their emotional discomfort differently than women do.

The woman who smiles and loves to talk may be the same woman who cries herself to sleep every night.

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How Is Depression Treated

Depression, even severe depression, can be treated. Its important to seek treatment as soon as you begin noticing signs. If you think you may have depression, start by making an appointment to see your doctor or health care provider.

Certain medications or medical conditions can sometimes cause the same symptoms as depression. A doctor can rule out these possibilities through a physical exam, learning about your health and personal history, and lab tests. If a doctor finds there is no medical condition that is causing the depression, he or she may suggest a psychological evaluation and refer you to a mental health professional such as a psychologist to perform this test. This evaluation will help determine a diagnosis and a treatment plan.

Common forms of treatment for depression include:

Major Depressive Disorder Risk Factors

Depression: Causes and Risk Factors

The following risk factors can play a role in development of MDD:1

  • Biochemistry: Chemicals in the brain may contribute to depression symptoms.
  • Heritability: Depression can run in families, and the risk of depression when a first-degree relative has depression is approximately 40%. If one identical twin has depression, the other has a 70% chance of developing the disorder or having symptoms sometime in life.
  • Personality: People who are easily overwhelmed by stress or are generally pessimistic and have low self-esteem tend to be more likely to experience depression.
  • Environmental factors: Recurring exposure to violence, neglect, abuse, or poverty may make some individuals more vulnerable to depression.
  • Trauma: Experiencing traumatic or stressful events such as the death of a loved one, financial problems, or physical or sexual abuse may increase risk.2

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Risk And Protective Factors

A combination of situations could lead someone to consider suicide. Risk factors increase the possibility of suicide, but they might not be direct causes.

Risk Factors

  • Mental illness, such as depression
  • Social isolation
  • Adverse childhood experiences such as child abuse and neglect
  • Bullying
  • Relationship problems such as a break-up, violence, or loss
  • Sexual violence


  • Barriers to health care
  • Cultural and religious beliefs such as a belief that suicide is noble resolution of a personal problem
  • Suicide cluster in the community


  • Stigma associated with mental illness or help-seeking
  • Easy access to lethal means among people at risk
  • Unsafe media portrayals of suicide

There are some individual characteristics and things we can do in communities that may help protect people from suicidal thoughts and behavior. There is not as much research about these protective factors as there is about risk factors, but identifying and understanding them is very important.

Protective Factors:

  • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide
  • Connections to friends, family, and community support
  • Supportive relationships with care providers
  • Availability of physical and mental health care
  • Limited access to lethal means among people at risk

See Suicide Prevention Resources for articles and publications about risk and protective factors for suicide.

Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Risk Factors For Adult Depression: Adverse Childhood Experiences And Personality Functioning

  • 1Faculty of Psychology, Alberto Hurtado University, Santiago, Chile
  • 2Millennium Institute for the Study of Personality and Depression, Santiago, Chile
  • 3Center for Psychotherapy Research, Santiago, Chile
  • 4School of Psychology, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • 5School of Psychology, Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago, Chile
  • 6Department of Psychology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany

Background: Depressive disorder is one of the main health problems worldwide. Many risk factors have been associated with this pathology. However, while the association between risks factors and adult depression is well established, the mechanisms behind its impact remains poorly understood. A possible, yet untested explanation is the mediating impact of levels of personality functioning, i.e., impairments with regard to self and interpersonal.

Method: Around 162 patients were assessed at the beginning of their therapy, with regard to risk factors, such as sociodemographic, physical, hereditary , and adverse childhood experiences . Depressive symptoms and personality functioning were also measured. Associations between the related variables as well as other possible covariates were examined by means of zero-order correlations and bootstrapping-based mediation analysis.

These results reaffirm the importance of incorporating risk and vulnerability factors such as personality functioning in understanding depression.

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Major Depressive Disorder Symptoms

Symptoms of MDD include:3

  • Depressed mood must be present most the day, nearly every day mood may be subjective, such as feeling empty or hopeless, or observed by others
  • Significant weight loss without dieting, or gain of at least 5% body weight in a month decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. In children, may be a failure to gain weight as expected
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day and must be observable by others, not just subjective assessment of being restless or sluggish
  • Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
  • Feeling worthless or having excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day. Guilt may be delusional, not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick
  • Suicidal ideation or recurrent thoughts of death, no specific suicide plan or attempt

In addition to five or more of these depressive symptoms, an individual must have all four of these additional criteria:3

  • Symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning
  • Episodes not attributable to physiological effects of a substance or another medical condition
  • Episodes not better explained by schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder, delusional disorder, or other specified and unspecified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders

Reporting Quality Of Included Systematic Reviews And Meta

Suicide Risk in Older Adults: 5 D’s of Suicide Risk in Older Adults

Two reviewers independently assessed the quality of each systematic review, using A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews , a 16-point assessment tool of the methodological quality of systematic reviews. AMSTAR-2 has good interrater agreement, testretest reliability and content validity .Reference Shea, Reeves, Wells, Thuku, Hamel and Moran38

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Medication And Substance Use

In most cases, people use substances or alcohol in an effort to feel better. But sometimes the substance can have the opposite effect, making the person feel worse.

When substances including prescribed medications lead to depressive symptoms, its known as substance-induced depression. This may occur when you actively use a substance, or when you experience intoxication or withdrawal.

suggest that nearly half of these depressive episodes occur through heavy alcohol use. Other substances commonly associated with substance-induced depression include cocaine and opioids, particularly heroin.

Medications more commonly associated with substance-induced depression include:

  • interferons
  • corticosteroids
  • digoxin
  • antiepileptic medications
  • sleep disturbances: insomnia or sleeping too much
  • recurrent thoughts of suicide or death
  • feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
  • poor concentration
  • slowing down of thoughts or physical movements agitation or restlessness

If you experience any of these symptoms for a period of several weeks, it might be time to seek help. Consider reaching out to a healthcare professional, therapist, or a depression hotline.

Physical Health & Certain Medical Conditions

You may be more likely to experience symptoms of depression if you have a chronic illness, sleep disorder, or thyroid condition. Depression rates also tend to be higher among people who have chronic pain, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and cancer.

The mind and the body are clearly linked. If you are experiencing a physical health problem, you may discover changes in your mental health as well.

Illness is related to depression in two ways. The stress of having a chronic illness may trigger an episode of major depression. In addition, certain illnesses, such as thyroid disorders, Addison’s disease, and liver disease, can cause depression symptoms.

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Strengths And Limitations Of This Study

  • This study used a large longitudinal population-based study to explore risk factors for incident depression.

  • The study provides quantitative measures on the potential effects of risk factor modifications on depression incidence.

  • The study sample was not representative of the initial survey sample.

  • It is difficult to know how much we could achieve on disease reduction when a single risk factor is removed.

The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 reported depression is a major public health problem. The increasing burden of depression tax healthcare systems as they strive to meet the rising needs.

Many cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have consistently found the following mostly psychosocial factors are associated with the increased risk of major depressive disorder: the use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs during pregnancy, maternal stress, low birth weight,child abuse and adverse childhood experience, low income, unemployment, smoking, physical inactivity, unhealthy eating styles, low social support, stressful events and neighbourhood deprivation.

The prevalence and incidence of depression are increasing. Although antidepressants, psychotherapy and alternative therapies have been widely used in the clinical practice, their impact is limited by the rising demand for treatment and the limited resources, both personnel and financial, available for mental healthcare services.

Number Of Population Potentially Influenced By Personal Modifiable Risk Factors


Although we found a number of risk factors including both personal characteristics and community characteristics , we focus here on modifiable risk factors at the individual level. Drinking habit is the only modifiable risk factor for major depressive disorder consistently evident in the current study.

The cumulative incidence rate of major depressive disorder during the 2-year follow-up was 4.8% , which represented 5318 individuals in the catchment area developed incident major depressive disorder during the 2-year period. We then calculated that 5.1% of depression cases were potentially attributable to occasional drinking. If the prevalence of occasional drinking could be reduced by 10%, about 50% of cases were prevented.

The cumulative incidence rate of major depressive disorder during the 4-year follow-up was 6.6% , which represented 5193 individuals in the catchment area developed incident major depressive disorder during the 4-year period. A total of 532 cases were potentially attributable to occasional drinking, and 474 cases of depression were potentially attributable to occasional drinking among males, and 4.18% cases for females. If the prevalence of occasional drinking could be reduced by 10%, 47% of depression cases would be prevented.

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Does Depression Often Occur With Grief

Grief is a common, normal response to loss. Losses that may lead to grief include the death or separation of a loved one, loss of a job, death or loss of a beloved pet, or any number of other changes in life, such as divorce, becoming an “empty nester,” or retirement.

Anyone can experience grief and loss, but not everyone will experience clinical depression, which differs from grief in that depression involves a range of other symptoms such as feelings of low self-worth, negative thoughts about the future, and suicide, whereas grief involves feelings of emptiness, loss and longing for a loved one, with an intact capacity to feel pleasure. Each person is unique in how they cope with these feelings.

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