Several things increase a young person's chance of developing depression. These include:
- Having a parent or immediate family member who is depressed. This is the most important risk factor for depression. Children or teens who have a parent with depression are up to 3 times more likely to develop depression.
- Having been depressed before, especially if depression first occurred at an early age.
- Having a long-term medical condition, such as diabetes or epilepsy.
- Having another mental disorder, such as conduct disorder or an anxiety disorder.
- Having a family member or close friend die.
- Being physically or sexually abused.
- Having problems with alcohol or drug abuse.
Other risk factors for depression include:
- Being a girl in early puberty. Until puberty, boys and girls have an equal risk for depression. After puberty and as adults, females are twice as likely as males to become depressed.
- Being exposed to repeated family conflict.
- Not having good social relationships with peers.
- Being a bully or a victim of bullying.4