How Do I Reduce My Risk of Depression?
It may not always be possible to prevent depression. However, the following strategies may help reduce your risk of becoming depressed:
Be aware of your personal risk of depression.
Have a psychiatric evaluation and psychotherapy, if needed.
Develop a strong social and spiritual support system.
Reduce your stress.
Be Aware of Your Personal Risk of Depression
Be alert to factors that can increase your risk for depression such as:
- Family history
- High levels of stress
- Major life changes, such as:
- Death of a relative
- Severe marital or relationship problems
- Psychological factors, such as:
- Low self-esteem
- Sensitivity to loss or rejection
- Inadequate social support
- Previous depression
- Chronic physical illness
- Hormonal changes
- Medications that can cause depression
Have a Psychiatric Evaluation and Psychotherapy, If Needed
If you feel overwhelmed by stress or are experiencing symptoms of depression, see your health care provider for a physical exam and mental health evaluation. You may be referred for further evaluation or counseling, if appropriate.
Develop a Strong Social and Spiritual Support System
A network of supportive relationships is beneficial for the prevention and treatment of depression. Supportive relationships serve as a buffer against stress, which can sometimes trigger depression.