Are you at risk of suffering from depression?
People often wonder if the mixed feelings they have are the first symptoms of depression. First of all, you should know that all people experience disappointment, loss or sadness at a certain moment in their life. But, you should be cautious, because a great number of people, both adults and teenagers, are affected by this condition. If you will check the statistics, you have all the reasons to be worried, because the number of people who are suffering from depression increases every year. Studies show that 1 in 10 adults in the United States of America suffers from depression, or they have a form of depressive disorder.
Depression can affect every one of us, but some people have more chances to develop it. Here are some risk factors that can lead to depression, so make sure you check them, to see if you are at risk or not.
Are there medical risk factors?
In case one of your family members suffers from this condition, then you are at risk of experiencing it. For example, if you have a twin and they are diagnosed with depression, you have a 70% chance to experience it. This does not mean that the persons who do not have a family history of depression cases are not at risk of developing it.
The specialists who study this disorder state that depression can be the product of the experiences a person has, but also the result their genes.
Some people state that people suffer from depression when the neurotransmitters in their brain are out of balance. These neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers that establish the connection between the brain and other parts of the body. They have the role to regulate people’s physiological functions.
The persons who have a low level of neurotransmitters are at a greater risk of suffering from depression, especially the ones who have low levels of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin.
Complex health issues
In case you are suffering from a health issue that causes you great pains then you can also be predisposed to depression. Numerous complex health issues cause depression. Here is a list with the most common health issues that can increase the risk of depression: heart disease, stroke, chronic pain, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, cancer, thyroid disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, or Parkinson’s disease.
The persons who are suffering from sleep disorders, often also suffer from depression. Experts do not consider that it is a clear connection between these two health conditions, but studies show that the majority of patients who have issues with sleeping, also have episodes of depression.
Is depression caused by social factors?
The gender can highly influence the number of people who are experiencing depression. Studies show that women are twice more likely to suffer from this condition than men. But, it is important to note that women are more likely to seek treatment when they experience certain symptoms, and men choose to ignore them. Some experts state that depression is often caused by the hormonal changes a person experiences during their life. Women are more likely to suffer from depression because they go through multiple hormonal changes, during pregnancy, during childbirth and during menopause.
The persons who experience abuse, it does not matter what type of abuse, are at a higher risk to suffer from depression than other people are. These negative experiences have negative effects on a person’s mental health, and they often lead to depressive disorders.
Some people have the misconception that only sad events increase a person’s risk of suffering from depression. The fact is that even happy events, like a new job, or a baby can increase the risk of experiencing this condition. When people are experiencing a major life event, that changes their life, they are predisposed to suffer from depression symptoms, because they do not know how to handle the situation. Situations like retiring, moving, losing a job, buying a house or getting divorced have a great impact on a person’s mental health.
People should not confuse sadness with depression. For example, when losing a loved person, it is something normal the ones left behind to suffer and grieve. But if the grieving extends over a period of several months, it can transform into depression. If it is left untreated, depression can make the patient have suicidal thoughts. In case you are grieving, and you notice that the symptoms last more than three months, you should see an expert in psychology.
Lack of support
The persons who isolate themselves from society often experience depression symptoms. The lack of social support and of supportive relationships are often factors that increase the risk of suffering from this health condition. When a person feels lonely or when they consider that they are excluded by the society they are prone to having depression feelings.
Is substance addiction a factor causing depression?
It does not matter if we are talking about drugs or alcohol, when a person makes substance abuse, they will definitely experience a form of depression at a certain point. Alcohol and drugs cause chemical changes in a person’s brain and they can break the addiction only if they get professional help from a luxury drug rehab center. In case the person is addicted to consuming alcohol or drugs, and they are also taking pills for treating their depression they put their lives to danger.
In case people are taking medication to treat a health problem, but they are doing it without consulting a doctor, they can easily be predisposed to having depression episodes. Certain medication has depression as a side effect, so if you are taking painkillers, steroids, sedatives, blood pressure medication and sleeping pills, and you feel an extended feeling of anxiety and depression, you should discuss with a doctor. Do not stop taking your pills before talking to a physician, because they are the only ones who can offer you the needed help.