Updated: 2018, Dec 24

Depression Risk Factors: Behavioral Factors, Psychological Factors

By - Reviewed by CHD Team
Depression Risk Factors

Everyone regardless of gender, age or social status can suffer from depression. Depression risk factors refer to anything that increases your chances of suffering depressive related illnesses. Every aspect of life can directly or indirectly expose you to the dangers of depression.

It all depends on your reaction to the normal bothers of life. Though it remains unclear of what actually causes depression, here are some proven risk factors that can increase the chances of depression.

1. Female Gender

During various development stages, females undergo hormonal changes which increase the risk of depression. The different stages that affect hormones discharge include puberty, menstrual periods, pregnancy, after birth, menopause and old age.

Due to their strong connections with their emotions, women are more susceptible to depression from matters related to family issues. As a mum, sickness in your kid can have negative impact in your moods. A sour relationship too can lead you in to misery.

2. Recent Life Event

Recent Life Event

Both major positive and negative recent life events can lead to depression. The loss of a loved one or a close friend can greatly affect your perception in life. Events like job loss or natural disasters may drown all your hopes.

They may leave your life with feelings of hopelessness or lack of purpose. Upbeat excitements after a hookup, new job, marriage or graduation all bring feelings of enjoyment but can lead to depression in some people.

3. Family History

Has a member of your family suffered from depression? If yes, this could mean you are at a higher risk of suffering from such related illnesses. Researches indicate that the genes for depression can be passed from one generation to another.

Depression can also be learned from a family member exhibiting its signs. Inheritable chronic diseases such as epilepsy or diabetes among others can trigger the risks of depression in the family line.

4. Physical Illness

Physical Illness

Some physical sicknesses like amputations can bring unfulfilling feelings in a person. Suffering from illnesses like cancer, dumbness, stroke or skin burns can result to humiliating experiences. It is not funny at all to attract people’s attention because of a physical sickness. The feelings of self-demeaning out of a physical illness can be traumatizing and lead to depression.

5. Psychological Factors

How much do you value yourself? People with low self esteem are more prone to suffer depression. If you are the kind of persons who degrade their worthiness, you are susceptible to succumb to common pressures of life.

You can’t argue out yourself from a discussion coz you already admit that you are a loser. Perfectionist and people sensitive to rejection also have higher chances of getting depressed.

6. Age

old Age

Even though kids can also get depressed, people between the ages of 20 and 50 have higher risks. This is mainly because of their exposure to stressing circumstances at home, school or work. The hormonal changes accompanied with age from puberty also subject some people to depression.

At old age, many people suffer from chronic illnesses that greatly contribute to depression. The elderly may get depressed from isolation by loss of close companions and social neglect. Failure to appreciate the physical changes occurring with old age elevates the risks of depression.

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7. Childhood Adversity

Childhood adversity refers to any form of physical or psychological abuse inflicted in a person at a tender age. Mistreatments may include sexual exploitations or bodily harm. A scar on your chin inflicted by a humiliating step mom could scare away your dream spouse. You might eventually find it hard to marry another person. Girls raped at childhood find it hard to trust and live with male counterparts later in life.

8. Marital Situation

Marital Situation

You could be single and happy or unhappily married. Just coz you didn’t win that person you always had in mind, staying single can result to depressive sicknesses. There is a high prevalence of depression in divorced, separated or windowed persons. Some relationships can accelerate depression especially among people living with frequent instances of conflicts.

9. No Social Support

Lack of social support especially among the aged is a major factor in depression related ailments. People living in isolation without friends or relatives whom they can share their feelings with are prone to mental disorientations. Without people to monitor your behavioral changes, you are at a higher risk of suffering from chronic depression.

10. Personal Relationships

Personal Relationships

How you interact with colleagues at work or family members influences your outlook in life. Working under an authoritative boss can increase the risks of depression. What kinds of people do you associate with? Negative peer influence can land you in to substance abuse which will result to depression in the end. Cutting back on your relationship with friends and family members increases the risks of depression.

11. Behavioral Factors

What is on your plate? Eating less unbalanced meals exposes your body to risks of infections. Lack of vital nutrients can compromise your immune system rendering your body to illnesses including depression. Do you exercise? If you constantly use your auto to shop for groceries, then you risk getting depressed. Exercises like a jog or a walk improves your wellbeing keeping depression away.

12. Low Socioeconomic Status

How much do you earn and is it enough? People in low social classes are at higher risks of depression. Their inability to afford basic commodities in life leads to feelings of inadequacy and dejection. The unemployed find it hard to acquire a health policy plan that covers depression. Needless to say that some might lack enough to afford a balanced meal hence are more prone to depression.

13. Drug or Alcohol Abuse

Drug or Alcohol Abuse

Persistent use of alcohol or drugs can lead to major mental damages. Your body becomes accustomed in such a way it can’t function normally without them. Excessive alcohol consumption can make you a social outcast increasing the chances of depression. In quest to break any kind of addiction, your chances of suffering depressive illnesses are very high.

14. Major Life Changes and Stress

A major stressful change in life can trigger depression. Difficult relationships or the loss of a spouse can result to stress which makes you susceptible to depression. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods or fires can compel you to shift to a different location. You might find it hard to adapt quickly and get depressed. You are also at a higher risk of getting depressed following a job loss or a sudden financial difficulty.

15. Race or Ethnicity

According to a research by the US Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, New York, African-American and Hispanic women reported early postnatal depressive illnesses than their white counterparts. These findings were attributed to majority-culture biasness in the provision of social support.

16. Sleep Disorders

Sleep Disorders

Sleep apnea, a breathing disorder causes sleep disruptions and insomnia which increase the risk of depression. People with sleep disorders usually experience exhaustion and loss of concentration during the day. A research at Center for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) found out that cases of clinical depression were high in men with sleep apnea.

17. Medication

Persistent use of certain drugs increases the risks of depression. These include sleeping pills, pain killers and sedatives. Birth control pills and alcoholism treatment medications have been reported to cause depression in some patients. Other drugs that promote the risks of depression include barbiturates, benzodiazepines and bromocriptine among others.


The fact that depression is a curable disease doesn’t warrant why you shouldn’t take preventive measures. However, some forms of depression that result from chemical imbalances in the brain are not preventable. Some good practices to avoid depression include regular exercise, good diet and relaxation. One can also choose to consume supplement such as Cortisol Health to deal with depression.

Having fun and sharing life experiences with close friends can erase the feelings of gloominess. Medical checkups as directed by your physician can assist in early detection and employment of measures to curb depression.

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