Risk Factors

  • Having biological relatives with depression
  • Being a woman
  • Having traumatic experiences as a child
  • Having family members or friends who have been depressed
  • Experiencing stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one
  • Having few friends or other personal relationships
  • Recently having given birth (postpartum depression)
  • Having been depressed previously
  • Having a serious illness, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s or HIV/AIDS
  • Having certain personality traits, such as having low self-esteem and being overly dependent, self-critical or pessimistic
  • Abusing alcohol, nicotine or illicit drugs
  • Taking certain high blood pressure medications, sleeping pills or certain other medications (Talk to your doctor before stopping any medication you think could be affecting your mood.

Complications

Depression is a serious illness that can take a terrible toll on individuals and families. Untreated depression can result in emotional, behavioral and health problems that affect every area of your life. Complications associated with depression can include:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Substance abuse
  • Anxiety
  • Work or school problems
  • Family conflicts
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Social isolation
  • Suicide
  • Self-mutilation, such as cutting
  • Premature death from other medical conditions

Reference- http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/depression/DS00175/DSECTION=risk-factors