Most people know the risk factors for illnesses such as heart disease or high blood pressure, but not many people realize that clinical depression has risk factors associated with it also. Having these risk factors doesn’t mean you will suffer from depression, only that you may be predisposed to it. Below, in no particular order, are listed some of these risk factors.
- There is a history of mental illness in your family.
- You are a woman. One in four women suffers from depression at some point in her life.
- You were sexually abused as a child.
- Someone close to you is depressed (depression can be “contagious”).
- You have a chronic illness or are in chronic pain.
- You lost a parent at an early age, either through death or abandonment.
- You have heart disease. One in five heart patients has severe depression.
- Someone close to you has recently died, or you are experiencing another stressful life event such as divorce or financial problems.
- You are taking a medication that can cause depression as a side-effect.