Women: Women have higher rates of depression than men. Biological, hormonal and life-cycle factors are more likely to affect their experience. Women are more likely to experience sadness, worthlessness and guilt.

Men: Men with depression are more like to feel tired, irritable, and angry. They are more likely to have trouble sleeping and to lose interest in activities they formerly enjoyed. They are more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol and less likely to seek treatment.

Older adults: Older adults are most likely to have their symptoms overlooked, have less obvious symptoms and admit feelings of sadness, grief or loss. Their depression is more likely to be contributed to medical conditions, such as heart disease.

Younger children: Younger children may exhibit symptoms of depression by overly clinging to their parent, pretend to be sick, want to skip school and worry that their parent may die.

Older children and teenagers: Older children and teenagers with depression are more likely to be irritable, angry have troubles with school work or get into trouble at school. They are more likely to exhibit symptoms of anxiety, eating disorders and substance abuse along with depression.


There are many possible causes of depression. Causes of depression may include:

Early childhood trauma

Genetics, family history and brain structure

Stressful or life-changing events, including loss of a loved one, divorce, economic issues, moving, accidents, or birth of a child

Medical conditions, including chronic illness, chronic pain, insomnia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and anxiety

History of substance abuse and eating disorders

History of mental illness

Experiencing any form of violence or bullying Certain medications, such as certain heart and blood pressure medications, hormones, tranquilizers, sedatives, and antibiotics


Panic attacks


Physical pain

Weight gain or weight loss

Relationship problems

Social isolation and loneliness


Alcohol- and drug abuse

Eating disorders

Other mental health issues Suicidal thoughts and suicide

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