When depression reports have been flooding the news and the Internet, aren’t you a tad bit curious what the factors are that might influence the risk of having such a condition?
Psychiatry states that depressive disorders choose neither age nor gender, and actual reasons why people are depressed aren’t usually known. However, researchers and medical professionals suspect that there are quite a few explanations about why depression occurs and why it is a condition that is not always escapable or preventable.
“For some people, the biological factors, such as genetics, may be stronger than the other two. For others, it may be caused mainly by a psychological issue, such as one’s personality or way of coping with stress,” says John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
An estimation of 10% to 15% of the entire population may struggle with clinical depression within their lifetime. And based on the World Health Organization’s evaluation, five percent of men and nine percent of women will experience depression in any particular year.
Factors That Increase The Risk For Depression
- Inadequate Nutrition
We’ll be starting off with a risk factor that’s far less complicated to understand compared to the other risk factors, and that’s inadequate intake of nutritious food. Diet with little nutritional value is a huge risk factor for developing depression in a lot of ways. Assortments of deficiencies concerning vitamins and minerals are said to be a major player in causing depressive symptoms to worsen.
Evidence shows that foods lacking in omega-3 fatty acids are imbalanced and can increase the risk for depression. For those who are fond of sweets, you will be surprised how your comfort food can be the source of your melancholia.
- Death Of A Loved One
After losing a family member or a close friend, grieving takes place. The bereaved may experience sleeping difficulties, loss of appetite, disinterest in specific activities, and sadness, which are all typical responses to losing someone.
Individuals may experience grief for a short period, which is often mistaken as depression at some point. Depression occurs if the sadness does not subside in a week or two. Furthermore, the symptoms tend to worsen and add up as days pass.
- Stressful Changes
Stress means differently for every person. Most of the time, stress can be fought using various coping mechanisms. But specific life events may overwhelm an individual’s ability to deal and manage the stress. Depletion of coping strategies may increase a person’s risk to become depressed.
Researchers are stating that increased cortisol, the hormone secreted when stressed, directly affects serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of satisfaction and happiness, which then leads to depression.
- Family History
It’s in your genes or your biology; you are wired to be depressed at a certain point, and you cannot do anything about it. Family history is a more complicated risk factor for depressive disorders that is yet to be concluded by researchers. However, this reason is often argued upon by investigating the link between family history and present-day mental illness.
“Other mental illnesses, such as alcoholism in family members, can also increase the risk for depression,” says Jim Haggerty, MD.
Therefore, if you know anyone in your family, either your grandparents, relatives, parents, or siblings who have depressive symptoms, there is an increased risk that you may develop the condition as well.
Watch Your Health
When talking about mental health, somehow, there is proof that the mind-body connection exists and if one of these two is harmed or damaged, a series of medical problems will occur. “Medical illnesses such as stroke, heart attack, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and hormonal disorders can increase the risk of depression,” says Ben Martin, Psy.D. “Chronic pain is known to be associated with depression.” For this reason, it is strictly advised that people become more mindful of their health, whether it’s physical or mental, for prevention purposes.