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What increases my risk for clinical depression?

Your risk for clinical depression increases if you have a family history of depression, substance abuse, or suicide. Researchers suspect at least part of the cause for major depression is genetic. If you already have low self-esteem or few close friends, you may also be at greater risk for developing chronic depression. Women appear to suffer at a greater frequency than men, but men may be less likely to be diagnosed, so this could impact the numbers. People at any age can experience symptoms, but they usually first appear when you are in your twenties.

There are many different factors that can increase your risk of becoming clinicallly depressed. Some of these risk factors include: 
  • having family members with depression
  • experiencing a major life trauma
  • taking certain medications
  • drug or alcohol abuse
  • being a woman
  • giving birth
  • having certain personality traits, such as low self-esteem
  • having a chronic disease or serious illness

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.