Frequently Asked Questions
5. How do I know if I am at risk for depression?
The risk factors for depression are family history, life experiences, and environment. If you have depression, you may have experienced it when you were younger, and may have a family history of the illness. You may also be going through difficult life events, such as physical or psychological trauma, losing a loved one, a difficult relationship with a family member or friend, or financial troubles. Any of these stressful experiences can lead to depression.
If you experience depression for the first time later in life, other factors may be at play. Depression may be related to changes that occur in the brain and body as we age. For example, some older adults may suffer from restricted blood flow, a condition called ischemia. Over time, blood vessels harden and prevent blood from flowing normally to the body's organs, including the brain. If this occurs, an older adult with no family history of depression may develop what some doctors call "vascular depression."