- Lack of social support
- Recent stressful life experiences
- History of mental illnesses in your family
- Marital or relationship problems
- Financial strain
- Early childhood trauma or abuse
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Unemployment or underemployment
- Health problems or chronic pain
Depression in men
Depression is a loaded word in our culture. Many associate it, however wrongly, with a sign of weakness and excessive emotion. This is especially true with men. Depressed men are less likely than women to acknowledge feelings of self-loathing and hopelessness. Instead, they tend to complain about fatigue, irritability, sleep problems, and loss of interest in work and hobbies. Other signs and symptoms of depression in men include anger, aggression, violence, reckless behavior, and substance abuse. Even though depression rates for women are twice as high as those in men, men are a higher suicide risk, especially older men.
Depression in women
Rates of depression in women are twice as high as they are in men. This is due in part to hormonal factors, particularly when it comes to premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), postpartum depression, and perimenopausal depression. As for signs and symptoms, women are more likely than men to experience pronounced feelings of guilt, sleep excessively, overeat, and gain weight. Women are also more likely to suffer from seasonal affective disorder.
Depression in teens
While some depressed teens appear sad, others do not. In fact, irritability—rather than depression—is frequently the predominant symptom in depressed adolescents and teens. A depressed teenager may be hostile, grumpy, or easily lose his or her temper. Unexplained aches and pains are also common symptoms of depression in young people.
Left untreated, teen depression can lead to problems at home and school, drug abuse, self-loathing—even irreversible tragedy such as homicidal violence or suicide. But with help, teenage depression is highly treatable.
Signs that your friend or family member may be depressed
- He or she doesn’t seem to care about anything anymore.
- He or she is uncharacteristically sad, irritable, short-tempered, critical, or moody.
- He or she has lost interest in work, sex, hobbies, and other pleasurable activities.
- He or she talks about feeling “helpless” or “hopeless.”
- He or she expresses a bleak or negative outlook on life.
- He or she frequently complains of aches and pains such as headaches, stomach problems, and back pain.
- He or she complains of feeling tired and drained all the time.
- He or she has withdrawn from friends, family, and other social activities.
- He or she is either sleeping less than usual or oversleeping.
- He or she is eating either more or less than usual, and has recently gained or lost weight.
- He or she has become indecisive, forgetful, disorganized, and “out of it.”
- He or she is drinking more or abusing drugs, including prescription sleeping pills and painkillers.
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