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

Researchers have identified certain factors that seem to increase the risk of developing or triggering depression, including:

  • Depression that started when you were a teen or child
  • History of anxiety disorder, borderline personality disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Abuse of alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Certain personality traits, such as having low self-esteem and being overly dependent, self-critical or pessimistic
  • Serious or chronic illness, such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease
  • Certain medications, such as some high blood pressure medications or sleeping pills (talk to your doctor before stopping any medication)
  • Traumatic or stressful events, such as physical or sexual abuse, the loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship or financial problems
  • Blood relatives with a history of depression, bipolar disorder, alcoholism or suicide
Feb. 21, 2014

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