Depression often begins in the teens, 20s or 30s, but it can happen at any age. More women are diagnosed with depression than are men, but this may be due in part because women are more likely to seek treatment.

Factors that seem to increase the risk of developing or triggering depression include:

  • Certain personality traits, such as low self-esteem and being too dependent, self-critical or pessimistic
  • Traumatic or stressful events, such as physical or sexual abuse, the death or loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or financial problems
  • Childhood trauma or depression that started when you were a teen or child
  • Blood relatives with a history of depression, bipolar disorder, alcoholism or suicide
  • Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in an unsupportive situation
  • History of other mental health disorders, such as anxiety disorder, eating disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Abuse of alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Serious or chronic illness, including cancer, stroke, chronic pain or heart disease
  • Certain medications, such as some high blood pressure medications or sleeping pills (talk to your doctor before stopping any medication)
July 22, 2015