Risk factors for depression refers to any characteristic that increases the likelihood of becoming or being depressed.  Rates of major depression in women and men are highest among the separated and divorced, and lowest among the married, while remaining depression in women is always higher than depression in men. The quality of a marriage, however, can also contribute significantly to depression. Lack of an intimate, confiding relationship, as well as ongoing marital disputes, have been shown to be related to depression. In fact, rates of depression have been shown to be highest among unhappily married women.  Other risk factors for depression include:


Studies show that people who experienced emotional, physical, or sexual abuse or assault are more likely to experience depression at some time in their lives than those without such a history. There are other risk factors for depression resulting from growing up in dysfunctional families, such as growing up with a parent who was an alcoholic or a parent with a mental illness.


Sooner or later, we all experience the loss of loved ones and loss is a risk factor for depression.  About 800,000 persons are widowed each year. Most of them are older, female, and experience varying degrees of depressive symptomotology. However, a third of widows/widowers do meet criteria for a major depressive episode in the first month after the death, and half of these remain clinically depressed one year later.


Research shows that one out of three depressed people also suffers from some form of substance abuse or dependence.  There is also a higher incidence of anxiety and depression among women who abuse alcohol and/or drugs.  Eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia nervosa) and depression have also been shown to be diagnosed at higher rates in women.

Financial Stress

Economic stress brings with it many problems, including isolation, uncertainty, frequent negative events, and limited access to helpful resources.  The loss of a job, for example, can be devastating to ones identity and self esteem, in addition to the tremendous economic burdens that are also created. Sadness and low morale are commonly associated with financial stress.

Reproductive Events

Infertility, the decision not to have children, menstrual changes, pregnancy, the post pregnancy period, and menopause affect both men and women.  As with other life transitions, these life altering events can bring fluctuations in mood that include depression and affect both women and their partners.

Treatment for Depression

There are a number of outpatient depression programs, as well as psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, and social workers, who can provide treatment for depression. If you or a loved one has risk factors for depression or is showing signs of depression, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan that can result in recovery.  Treatment for depression can be highly successful.   A recent federal study (SAMHSA 2009) showed that Tennessee ranked #1 with highest rate of people experiencing depression.

Because our treatment for depression relies on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods.  The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from depression and other mental health disorders.

In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in seven peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.   Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting.  It is also important to keep in mind that women and men often experience depression differently and therefore the presence of depression may also appear differently based on gender. If you or a loved one is showing signs of depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan for depression that can result in recovery.  Treatment for depression and anxiety can be highly successful and people who have completed our program have resulted in our treatment program receiving very highly consumer satisfaction scores and reviewsCall us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.