Is depression hereditary

Is depression hereditary

Is depression hereditary? People dealing with depression may be faced with this serious question. The genetic makeup that we inherit from our parents may establish several factors about our bone structure, hair, eyes, and even gender. However, does our genetic makeup also inherit a predisposition to the illnesses that we may become susceptible to, such as depression?

What is Depression?

Many of us experience short-term experiences of being sad or feeling blue, however, true depression is when an individual exhibits those emotions for weeks on end. Depression is a common psychological disorder that is illustrated with a depressed mood, feelings of guilt, low self-worth, loss of interest, loss of pleasure, low energy, poor concentration and disturbed sleep or appetite.


These difficulties may develop into chronic occurrences leading to significant impairing of an individual’s ability to take care of their day-to-day responsibilities. At its worst, depression could lead to an attempt or contemplation of committing suicide. Due to these factors it is imperative to seek medical attention to get treatment for this disorder. In order to properly treat depression your medical professional will need to understand the underlying issues that are causing your depression.

Is Depression Hereditary in a Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis?

There are specific types of depression that seem to be hereditary. One example of depression that seems to be hereditary is bipolar disorder. Studies of families where bipolar disorder is prevalent found that those family members that get ill have a different genetic makeup than those who do not.

However, just because a family member has a similar genetic makeup does not mean they will get ill due to the disorder. It has been found that there are additional factors that cause those family members with the genetic makeup to get the illness, such as stress from school, home, or work that may result in the onset of bipolar disorder. Again, is depression hereditary?


Is Depression Hereditary in Major Depression?

Often major depression is linked to heredity as well. However, major depression can arise in individuals who do not have a history of depression within their family. Major depression disorder is related to changes in brain function, which is due to ones level on serotonin.

The hormone serotonin plays a vital part in the operation of our brain’s chemistry levels. Ones level of serotonin can positively or negatively influence their thinking, emotions, or behavior. It has often be hypothesized that serotonin is instrumental in the formation of a mental illness.

Is Depression Hereditary?

As a family unit when we live together, we often pattern our behaviors after one another. A family that has a predisposition to depression has a heightened capacity to share the same coping mechanisms and become depressed about environmental factors. Is depression hereditary?

In short, there are studies that prove that this is a possibility. However, outside factors such as ones self-esteem, level of stress, and environmental factors play just as important a role in the onset of depression. Studies are still inconclusive on whether heredity plays a part in depression. Only time and further research will give us a definite answer on the question, is depression hereditary?

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