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Who experiences major depression?

ANYONE can experience major depression, at any age.  However, there are certain factors that can place a person at risk including family history of a mood disorder, certain medical conditions, gender, and age.  Epidemiological studies indicate that women are more likely to be diagnosed, as are older adults - and particularly in older adults - it is important that if significant symptoms of depression are being experienced along with problems with memory, concentration etc- that the patient also be screened for dementia.  However, despite the risk factors- anyone can experience it - and if you or a loved one is experienced depressed mood or loss of interest in activities that are usually pleasurable for 2 weeks or longer as well as other symptoms such as problems with sleep, appetite, concentration, feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, not able to sit still or alternately - just feeling slowed down. 

Short answer - anyone can be depressed - young or old, men or women, healthy or ill, any race or ethnicity.  It is critical to get help EARLY for you or someone else if you suspect it is an issue.
Douglas S. Denham, DO
Family Medicine
Depression can happen to anyone at any age but often begins when you're in your teens or twenties. Twice as many women are diagnosed with depression as men, but this may be because women are more likely to seek treatment for depression. There are certain risk factors that can also increase the risk for developing or triggering depression such as having relatives with depression, having a traumatic experience as a child, experiencing stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one, having few friends or other personal relationships, abusing alcohol, nicotine or illicit drugs and having certain personality traits, such as having low self-esteem.

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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.