Depression Risk Factors


Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is one of the most common mood disorders in the United States. It is often characterized by symptoms such as persistent feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, anxiety, and pessimism. When the symptoms get severe, it can affect how a person feels, thinks, and functions in their daily lives. When there is recurrence or presence of these symptoms for at least two weeks, the person might need to see a therapist to get diagnosed with depression and get professional help.

Many factors may cause depression. Understanding and knowing these factors contribute to a greater understanding of mental health and its disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the risk factors of depression are the following:

  • Genetic or biological factors. The NIMH suggests that genetic family history can increase the likelihood of mental health conditions, as certain genes and gene variants put a person at higher risk. But many other factors increase or decrease the risk of depression, so having a gene with links to a mental health disorder does not mean that you will certainly go through it too.
  • Environmental factors. Major life changes or experiencing trauma and being in a constantly stressful environment can also affect a person’s mental health. However, these are considered modifiable factors which means that they can be changed. For those in the same area as us, help from a provider of mental health service in New Jersey can help you deal with these factors.

Shirley Court Gonzalez LCSW BCD offers services such as depression therapy and psychotherapy in West Orange, New Jersey to help those struggling with mental health problems.

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