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Risk Factors

Depression is a scary sort of illness. It can strike anyone at anytime. Experts estimate that at least 10% of the United States’ adult population is depressed at any given time. Of course, this number could be much higher.

However, it’s important for people not to be afraid of the illness. If they have it, they must learn to manage it. Arming ones’ self with knowledge is a great defense against the most bitter symptoms of depression.

Oone of the most important things to realize about depression is that, although anyone can become depressed, certain individuals are more likely to develop depression due to certain risk factors they possess.

The most common risk factors for depression include, but are not limited to:

* A strong family history of the disease, especially in the family
of origin
* Family members who have attempted to or actually committed suicide
* Stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one, divorce,
rape and so forth.
* Having a depressed mood as a youngster
* Childhood traumas like abuse and incest
* Illness, such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's or HIV/AIDS
* Long-term use of certain medications, such as some drugs used to
control high blood pressure, sleeping pills or, occasionally,
birth control pills
* Having a certain type of personality. Those who are depressed
often suffer from low self-esteem and are overly dependent,
self-critical or pessimistic
* Alcohol, nicotine and drug abuse
* Having recently given birth
* Being in a lower socioeconomic group. Depression affects the poor
at higher rates than the wealthy.