Top Major Risk Factors for Depression
Risk factors associated with depression are multiple and complex. The reason is because it is not easy for any health care provider to attribute a depressive disorder to a single cause.
The condition is, most the times, the result of several agents. In fact, for some depressed individuals, the causes of their disorder remain unknown; they are just experiencing clinical depression symptoms without knowing the exact origin of the problem. While this list below is far from being complete, it includes the main risk factors contributing to depression in adolescents and adults.
Lack of Sex – Some religious people tend to misunderstand the Bible condemning sexual activity. The truth sex is one of greatest blessings of God to humanity. What the Bible forbids is sexual perversity. A recent mega study found men and women who had regular sexual intercourse had decreased risk for developing prostate cancer and breast cancer respectively. Another study conducted by Pharma Dynamics on more than 700 South African women, aged between 18 and 55, found that lack of sexual activity caused the development of depression symptoms. 80% of the women were found to have a healthy sex drive. But 70% of them were not satisfied sexually due to lack of interest of their partner. They complained of feeling depressed as a result of the absence of the sexual intimacy.
Keeping Anger & Other Emotions Inside – having anger issue is a serious problem that can affect your relationship with others. Although it is sometimes better to suffer in silence than explode with anger, when you regularly keep a bitter feeling inside this can seriously damage your health, mentally and physically. It can cause not only depressive disorders but also heart attacks, atherosclerosis, and other serious diseases certain cancers.
Feeling of Inferiority – Regardless of you are, you will always find people that are better at doing something than you can. This is a fact of life; you need to accept it. However, keeping comparing yourself to others to view yourself as inferior is an unhealthy habit that can ruin your life. When you compare their success with your failure you can end up being sad and depressed. This practice is common among adolescents, and it is one of major risk factors leading to depression.
Lack of Assertiveness – Overconfidence is a serious social problem which can keep people away from you. The same is true when you have no self-assurance and confidence. You need a balance. It is said that lack of assertiveness in the workplace is a major contributor to poor performance. The problem even goes further; it may ruin your life by keeping you from fulfilling your prospective and achieving your goals in life. When that happens over and over, you will end up depressed. A major survey has found lack of assertiveness to be among the top risk factors of major depressive disorder.
Unhealthy Diet and Lifestyle – junk food is not only attributed to obesity and diabetes; it is one of risk factors of major depressive disorder. Poor diet and lack of exercise are two causes of the most major diseases including depression and stress. A great majority of studies have shown that inactivity is depressing and aging. Eating well and regularly exercise are two potent natural anti-depressants and anti-aging. They are even more effective when combined with good sleep habit.
Unrealistic Goals – Living without a dream to fulfill is recipe for failure. It is impossible for you to be successful in life without a desire to achieve something. But having excessive high expectations for yourself or any loved one can deceive you so bad that you become depressed when your expectations are not met. Be realistic in life is a good way to prevent depression and other troubles.
Lack of Fun – It is really annoying to be around someone who never takes anything seriously. But taking life too seriously can not only cause you to become depressed but also age you prematurely. We are all at risk of taking ourselves too seriously sometimes. There must be a balance between things to take with a significant concern and things to take lightly or superficially. Try this simple technique: after each serious business meeting have some fun with your family or a love one.
Substance Abuses – any type of addiction can lead to depression if left untreated. Regular use of addicting substances can increase your risk of developing depressive disorders. Common narcotics found to cause depression include benzodiazephines (sometimes called “benzos”), alcohol, stimulants (cocaine, amphetamines), opiates, and others. Some people turn to alcohol and drugs to lessen their problems; this leads to addiction and severe depression, thus worsen the situation.
Socially Withdrawal – human beings love living socially. Regular contact with others is healthy and part of who we are as humans. However, interpersonal connection or being socially withdrawn increases your risk to become depressed. Paradoxically, once depressed, you will want to be even more secluded.
Professional Factors – professional or work-related problem are also greatly suspected listed among risk factors for depression. The following professions can be very depressing: Health-care, child care, food service, social work, entertaining industry, writers, and athletes.
Gender – women are more at risk for depression than men are. In fact, about twice as many women as men suffer from depression.
Financial Problems – financial stress and job loss are two major risk factors contributing to depression. Financial strains, burdens and debt can wear on you emotionally, thus causing to become stressed and depressed. The solution is to set back and create a financial plan to get out of the situation.
Taking Certain Medications – certain medications, such as high blood pressure drugs and sleeping pills are known to be major risk factors leading to depression on a great majority of people. If you are at risk for depressive disorder, talk to your doctor before taking any medication you think could be affecting your mood.
According to the Mayo Clinic, other risk factors for clinical depression include:
- Having family members with major depressive disorder
- Having a story of traumatic experiences as a child
- Having few friends or other personal relationships
- Recently having given birth (postpartum depression)
- Having been depressed previously (relapse)
- Having serious medical conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or Alzheimer.
- Experiencing major life events, such as natural disaster, war, or death of a loved one
- Having certain personality traits, such as having low self-esteem and being overly dependent, self-critical or pessimistic.