Key Risk Factors For Depression
Depression often occurs in the teen years, around 20 to 30 years of age, but it can actually occur at any age and according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, the #1 cause of disability in the United States for people between the ages of 15 and 44.3 is Major Depressive Disorder.
More women suffer from depression as men, partially because they are more likely to receive treatment.
Those factors that appear to put a person at risk for having depressive symptoms include the following:
According to the National Institute Of Mental Health, depression risks increase with the following medical conditions.
Risk Factors for Depression
The following are medical risk factors for depression:
Depression is a type of psychological disorder that some believe is caused when the neurotransmitters are not in balance. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that aid in the brain’s ability to function normally. These chemicals, including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, help to regulate the many physiological functions the brain has to do. There are experts who surmise that some people are just more susceptible to the disease.
Having a family member with a mood disorder can increase your risk of the disease. The American Psychiatric Association indicates that if one twin (identical) has depression, the other twin has a seventy percent chance of developing depression. Depression can, however, happen in people who have no family history of depression.
Chronic sleep problems are linked to depression. While experts don’t know if lack of sleep is the cause of depression, episodes of low mood seem to follow times of poor sleep.
The stress and pain that come out of certain conditions can affect a person’s medical state. There are many chronic conditions that are connected to higher rates of depression. Some of these chronic conditions include cancer, stroke, thyroid disease, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and chronic pain. Others are Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Social Risk Factors for Depression
There are many social risk factors for depression, they include the following:
Childhood abuse. Those who were neglected or abused as kids are at a major risk factor for getting depression. Such bad experiences can also result in other mental disorders as well.
Gender. Women have twice the risk of having depression when compared to men. This may, however, be due to more women going for depression treatment when compared to men. There are others who believe that depression in women may be due to changes in female organs throughout their lives. Women are especially vulnerable to becoming depressed in while being pregnant. They are also likely to become depressed after giving birth and while in menopause.
Lack of Support. Having no support from having very few friends or relationships that are supportive is a typical source of depression. Feelings of loneliness or exclusion can bring on a major episode in mood disorders.
Major Life Events. Even happy times, such as having a baby or getting a new job can increase a person’s chances of becoming depressed. Other life events connected to depression include retiring, buying a house, moving, and getting divorced.
The death of a loved one. The death of a loved one causes great sadness. Sadness is a part of grief. If your grief symptoms last more than a couple of months, you need to see your doctor if this is the case. Some people will feel better in a few months, while others will have a more serious depression.
Substance Use Risk Factors for Depression
There are some risks for depression that are linked to depression. Here are some of these risk factors:
Substance abuse. In many situations, depression and substance abuse go together. Alcohol and drugs can lead to many changes in the brain that increase the chances of becoming pregnant. It could also be that those with depression try to medicate themselves with alcohol and drugs.
Medications. There are certain medications that will increase the risk of getting depressed. These include prescription painkillers, steroids, sedatives, sleeping pills, and blood pressure medication.
How Isolation Affects Your Emotional Health
When you’re isolated from other people, you won’t just get lonely, but you’ll also increase the risk of an early death. This is completely normal, humans are social creatures, it is just a part of our DNA, and has been throughout evolution.
Although this may sound scary, a study conducted by the University of Chicago actually proved that loneliness has a negative effect on well-being, sleep, and mental functioning, which in turn raises the risk of illness and death.
Although some crave their alone time, we all get lonely every now and then, especially after you experience a big change in your life. For example, moving to another city or starting a new job can make you feel lonely and insecure.
Some would argue that there’s a huge difference between being alone and feeling lonely, although this may not be necessarily true.
A study that was published in the Psychological Science journal found that even people who were living in some type of isolation and didn’t consider themselves lonely also had an increased likelihood of death by as much as 26 percent.
When you take a minute to really examine loneliness, you’ll see that this isn’t really that surprising. As a species, we have always depended on others. So much so, that we immediately start falling into depression and begin making unhealthy decisions whenever we get lonely.
Causes Of Loneliness
There are a number of things that can cause loneliness. The inability to fit in is one of the most common reasons why people (especially young people) are lonely nowadays. If you’re an introvert, then you might find it hard to really find your crowd. However, remember that breaking the ice is the only hard part. As soon as you start getting to know more people around you, the easier it will be for you to fit in.
Other notable causes of loneliness include rejection by others, abuse, heartbreak, death of a person close to you, divorce, and aging.
How Isolation Can Affect You
Whether you got rejected by the people close to or chose to voluntarily isolate yourself from others, you can’t let it bring you down. If you give up hope of finding people who you can spend time with, you will reach a mental and emotional state from where you won’t be able to get back.
Isolating yourself from others can make you more likely to become suicidal, an alcoholic, substance abuser, and it will also increase the risk of certain mental health disorders.
Isolation can increase the risk of dementia, heart disease, cause sleeping disorders, and even reduce life expectancy, which is why you should find a way to alleviate the feeling of loneliness.
How To Alleviate Loneliness
Social contact can have incredible physiological effects. For example, just by holding a loved one’s hand, you can improve your mood, lower blood pressure levels, and reduce the feeling of pain. Any type of social contact is important when it comes to maintaining health. When you’re isolated from others, you will almost always experience stress, sadness, and anxiety.
Thankfully, there’s no reason to feel hopeless, as you can always find a way to fight loneliness. The first thing you’ll need to do is realize that loneliness is just a feeling. This means that something has to trigger it. The sooner you find these triggers, the sooner you’ll be able to come up with a strategy to fight loneliness.
Remember to reach out to others, as your loved ones will surely help you get back on your feet faster. If you’re not in touch with anyone you were once close to, try finding a support group that can help you. Support groups will also help you meet other people who are in need of help. This will provide you with an opportunity to help others, which is always a good thing, as doing a good deed will undoubtedly make you feel better about yourself.
The final step towards alleviating loneliness is finding like-minded people who you can spend time with. Going hiking, fishing, or participating in any other activity you enjoy with like-minded people will definitely improve your quality of life and help you forget all about the time you felt lonely.
Work Related Depression
Is Your Job Making Your Miserable?
How much do you love your job?
Are you one of those lucky people who love their job? Do you bounce out of bed in the morning, full of “joie de vivre,” eager to face the challenges that work has to offer? Are you cheerful, and smiling and enjoying everyone you meet? Do you feel stimulated, elated, and satisfied by the work you have to do? Does your work feel like play? Do you feel that you are making a meaningful contribution to society?
No? This doesn’t sound like you?
Perhaps you are one of the millions who are doing the daily grind, to earn a crust and feeling weighed down by the hopelessness of your situation?
Is getting out of bed hard for you in the morning? Do you drag yourself into the office each day and force the corners of your mouth to lift upwards? Are you unhappy with the work you do? Is your boss a milder version of Hitler? Do people at work gossip?
Could that mean they gossip about you? Do you feel isolated in your job? Do you find yourself longing to be somewhere else, doing anything but the job you actually have?
If you answered mostly “Yes” to the second scenario, above, then you may be suffering from workplace related depression.
This is known as circumstantial depression, because it is brought on by the circumstances around you.
The good news is that if you had happier circumstances, which in this case means, if you had work you loved, you wouldn’t be depressed!
The bad news is it is not so easy to change jobs. It is a possibility though and it maybe worth giving the idea some serious consideration. Before you initiate such drastic change, here are some ideas to help you cope so that maybe you won’t need to switch jobs.
14 things you can do to improve your workplace experience and decrease your work-related depression