What are the risk factors and complications for depression?

What are the risk factors and complications for depression?

What are the risk factors and complications for depression?

What are the risk factors for depression?

Depression will often begin during the teens and into the 20s and 30s. However, it can become present at any age in one’s life. Typically, more women are diagnosed with depression than men. Experts argue that this is not actually an indication that more women suffer from depression than men, but this may rather be due to the fact that women are more likely to seek treatment and discuss their emotional state than their male counterparts.

We discussed the causes of depression previously, some of these may be linked to the risk factors of depression.

There are several risk factors that have been identified in the development and triggering of depression, these include the following:

  • Having certain traits in one’s personality such as being overly dependent on others, having low self-esteem, being pessimistic or self-critical.
  • Going through stressful or traumatic events, these include sexual or physical abuse, the loss or death of a friend or loved one, being in a difficult or abusive relationship or having financial problems.
  • Having a history of a traumatic or abusive childhood or depression that began when the patient was a child or teenager.
  • Having family members who have a history of bipolar disorder, depression, addiction or suicide.
  • Having a history of mental conditions such as anxiety, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) or eating disorders.
  • Having a severe condition or a chronic condition such as cancer, stroke, heart disease or chronic pain.
  • Taking certain medications such as treatment for hypertension (high blood pressure) or sleeping tablets.

What are the complications of depression?

Depression should not be deemed a mediocre condition and taken lightly as it can take a toll on families and particularly the individual with the disorder.

It is a serious condition and can progress when left untreated. If depression is not treated it can often result in ill health, behavioural and emotional problems that may affect all areas of the sufferer’s life.

The following are examples of complications that are associated with depression:

  • Gaining excess weight or becoming obese, this may lead to diabetes, heart disease or metabolic syndrome.
  • Experiencing physical illness and pain
  • Misusing drugs or alcohol which in turn has a variety of personal, social and health-related consequences.
  • Suffering from panic attacks, social phobia or anxiety
  • Having suicidal thoughts, attempting suicide or committing suicide
  • Mutilating oneself through cutting or other means
  • Suffering from premature death from other medical disorders or conditions
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