In 2018 it was reported that depression affected 6.1% of Indonesians aged 15 or above. This means that at least 700,000 people (and more..) in Indonesia suffered from depression. With many cases being undiagnosed this number is considered lower than the truth.
Unfortunately, depression is often misunderstood. We often assume that depression only affects certain types of people. Others are simply “immune” from it. For example, if you have an ideal body shape, good looks, a good career, and a ‘happy’ family, depression will never touch you. But is this true? Are there some factors in somebody that make them more prone to depression? And what are those factors, anyway? Are the factors mentioned above the correct indicators?
Keep on reading if you want to know!
Risk Factors of Depression
According to research, the risk factors that actually could cause some people to be more susceptible to experience depression are:
1. Family History of Depression
Research studies found that 30% of the predisposition for developing depression is due to genetics. The remaining 70% is thought to be due to other contributing factors. What this means is that we might be more prone to depression if we have one or more family members who are or were depressed.
2. Biochemicals Factors
The imbalance of some neurotransmitters in the brain could trigger depression, such as low levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Researchers are doing further research on this area.
Certain personality and temperament types are more at risk for developing depression than others. For example, socially avoidant personality style, anxious worrying personality style, or people with a high level of neuroticism. But, it is important to note that it does not necessarily mean that people with these types of personalities will develop depression. Personality style is just one contributing factor.
4. Social Risk Factors
There are various social factors that contribute to a person developing depression.
- Stress: Stressful events in one’s life could invoke the feeling of distress, which heavily puts people at risk to develop depression.
- Gender: Women are twice as likely to be having depression. Women are particularly vulnerable to depression during pregnancy and childbirth, which is postpartum depression
- Insufficient family or social support: Prolonged social isolation and having few friends or supportive relationships is a common source of depression. Feelings of exclusion or loneliness can bring on an episode in people who are prone to mood disorders.
- Minority group status: Studies have found that belonging to a minority group increases the risk of developing depression.
5. Early Life Trauma
People with childhood adversities such as child abuse, neglect, exposure to violence, and family economic hardships are prone to be developing depression during adolescence and adulthood.
Pain and stress that come with certain conditions, especially that of chronic in nature, can take a toll on a person’s mental state and prompt depression.
Are You More or Less Prone To Depression?
It is true that some factors contribute to a higher risk of developing depression. But it is important to note that those factors are often invisible from outward appearance. Good looks, an ideal body type, a great career, or a happy family does not mean the person is not also struggling with depression. Understanding that depression could happen to anyone from any social background, age group, ethnicity, and gender could lead us to be a better society that accepts and supports people battling with depression.
You can read more about Major Depression in this article.
Lastly, as previously mentioned, depression can only be diagnosed by a professional. Self diagnosis can be dangerous. If you need to refer someone you know who’s likely to be battling depression, or even yourself, don’t hesitate to contact our Kalmselors through the KALM application (download here).
Written by: Jessica Delphina
Edited by: Lukas Limanjaya
Causes of depression. Black Dog Institute. (2021). Retrieved from https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/resources-support/depression/causes/
Depression. World Health Organization. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression.
Hicklin, T. (2020). Factors that affect depression risk. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Retrieved from https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/factors-affect-depression-risk.
Kementrian Kesehatan Republik Indonesia. (2018). Laporan Nasional Riskedas 2018 (pp. 223-225). Jakarta. Retrieved from http://labdata.litbang.kemkes.go.id/images/download/laporan/RKD/2018/Laporan_Nasional_RKD2018_FINAL.pdf
Legg, T. (2017). Depression Risks: Medical, Social, and Substance Factors. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/risk-factors.
Torres, F. (2020). What Is Depression?. American Psychiatric Association. Retrieved from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression.