Risk Factors and Signs of Depression

Depression is one of those problems that can occur in all ages, all races, and both sexes. This mental issue has no boundaries when it comes to affecting individuals. On the other hand, there are risk factors that might put in the category to have problems with depression.

Risk Factors

  • Trauma during childhood

  • Trauma during teen years

  • Substance abuse

  • Low self-confidence

  • Family history of mental issues

  • Lack of acceptance for sexual preference

  • Issues adjusting to a health problem such as stroke, COPD, cancer, etc.

  • Issues adjusting to major injuries such as paralysis

  • Prior mental health problems

  • No support system like family and friends

  • Side effects of certain medicines such as corticosteroids, beta blockers, statins, and hormonal medicines

Signs of Depression

Everyone can feel sad at some time in their lives. However, depression and sadness are not the same. There are signs to watch for so you will know if you or a loved one are suffering from depression or are just having a normal sad/bad day.

Change in Feelings

The most recognized symptom of depression is the feeling of hopelessness or helplessness. Other feelings can also be present such as guilt, hating oneself, or feeling worthless. Many people suffering from depression often wonder if continuing onward is worth it.

Loss of Interest in Things Once Enjoyed

When a person is suffering from depression, they often withdraw from activities they once enjoyed. The lose interest in hobbies, activities, and even spending time with family and friends. Major depression can lead to impotence and decrease in sex drive.


The main reason most individuals with depression lose interest in the things they once loved is due to lack of energy. Most feel tired all the time and often sleep more than usual or cannot sleep at all. Depression has been linked to sleepless nights or sleeps more hours than ever before which can lead to anxiety.

Moodiness and Anxiety

These symptoms are often seen in both sexes; however, in men, the moodiness can be displayed in other actions such as misplaced anger or risky behavior.

Increase or Decrease of Appetite

Both an increase or decrease of appetite is a symptom of depression. Some individuals will eat more and gain weight, while another person will eat less and lose weight.

Unmanageable Emotions

Depression can cause a person to be crying and then in a minute yelling. Emotions are often up and down and uncontrollable. Mood swings are very common just as they are with mood disorders. This can make diagnosing a person with depression can be difficult and often is diagnosed as bipolar disorder.

Thoughts of Suicide

Depression has been linked to suicide. This, of course, is the worst symptom as many people do not recognize the symptoms of depression and it can end fatally. More than 41,000 individuals killed themselves in 2013 in the United States as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most of the individuals that commit suicide talked about it or and tried previously.


Knowing the signs and risk factors of depression are very important so you can seek help for yourself or a loved one.