Are you depressed or just feeling life's normal downs and disappointments? How do you know if you are already suffering from a serious depression or just experiencing a passing moment of life's dips and downs? There are many factors that predispose a person to greater risk of experiencing clinical depression.
1. A history of depression that runs in the family. There are certain types of depression that runs in the family. An example is bipolar depression also known as manic-depressive disorder. This type of depression throws a person into bouts of highs and lows. Into periods of extreme activity, energy, even to the point of being euphoric. These episodes however are followed by periods of low energy and depression. Research shows that members of the family affected by bipolar depression show different genetic makeup compared with those who are not affected by the illness. Studies also show that major depression is also exhibited in some families running from generation to generation.
2. Personal history of depression. Depression is commonly a recurring illness. A person who had experienced depression is likely to undergo the same incident once triggered by circumstances that cause the illness.
3. A chronic medical condition can put a person to greater risk of developing depression. The pain and frustrations of suffering a chronic disease can trigger depression. There are also illnesses like cancer and thyroid disease that cause the alteration and changes in a person's body chemistry. These changes may result in the symptoms of depression. Parkinson's disease causes degeneration in the brain tissue that can lead to depression. Alzheimer's disease on the other hand causes an overwhelming deterioration in a person's intellectual functioning that can also give way to depression.
4. A personal loss that recently battered an individual can cause depression. It could be a death of a loved one, job loss or moving away to a new place and leaving behind relatives and lifelong friends. A person recently having been through the rigors and pains of divorce may undergo depression as well. Even a child going to college or starting to live on his own can render his parents vulnerable to depression.
5. There are personality traits that can precipitate depression. Depressive personalities are usually seen in people who have the tendency to sulk, criticize and are often pessimistic about a lot of things.
6. There are induced depressions caused by drugs such as sedatives and tranquilizers. These drugs produce calming effect that depresses certain body functions and organ activity.
7. Excessive use of alcohol can cause depression. Alcohol changes the brain chemistry as some evidence points out, increasing a person's predisposition to depression. Although if taken in small amounts, alcohol can lift a person's mood, when consumed excessively this can render an opposite effect.
8. The weather can also affect a person's mood and in some cases can precipitate depression. The dark days of winter bring on a form of depression commonly known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD to some people. However, the sunny days of spring and summer alleviate the depression. Most often people with this kind of depression migrate to places where the harsh gloomy days of winter are non-existent.
Knowing these factors may help a person manage his depression and seek professional help before it gets worse.