In Depression, Health Professionals

Is Depression Hereditary?

Is Depression Hereditary

Genetics play a major role in both the physical and behavioral make up of a person. The question of whether or not depression is hereditary has been the impetus for many scientific studies. Many studies revolve around the home environment and how a child being raised in a home where one or more individuals suffer from depression can begin to show signs of the disorder as well. Studies involving twins also show that when one twin suffers from depression, the other tends to exhibit signs and symptoms as well only in varying degrees. Learn the answer to this question now: Is Depression Hereditary ?

Is Depression Hereditary ?

In a study where 800 families were evaluated for depression, a specific chromosome began to appear in familial lines that suffered from the disorder. Some researchers believe that almost 40 percent of individuals with the disorder can trace it back to a genetic link. It is also believed that children whose immediate family members fought with depression would be more likely to be diagnosed with it as adults.

The brain is one of the most complex organs in the human body. Researchers are continually trying to find links that connect various illnesses to genetic causes. Disease like hypertension and diabetes are known to have genetic factors, but detecting those same links within the brain can be much more troublesome. Individuals who have a problem with serotonin levels and other chemicals in the brain may often wonder, “Is depression hereditary or is there an environmental cause?” Researchers have connected the loss of serotonin or the body’s inability to utilize what is available to specific genetic traits.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter found in the human brain. It is the chemical messenger that spurs on happy thoughts or feelings of joy. When serotonin levels begin to drop or the body has difficulty manufacturing it, depression can be the end result. A person’s serotonin levels can be affected by many things, including diet, illness or an injury that affects the brain or central nervous system. In conditions where serotonin levels are affected by an imbalance in the brain, medications can be prescribed to aid the body in producing or utilizing more.

In Your Case: Is Depression Hereditary ?

When an individual is diagnosed with depression, physicians often look to family medical history to determine if genetics may have been a factor. Not only will this help them form a treatment plan, they will be able to determine what they can do to keep future generations from suffering from the same fate. By studying family members who have depression or other mental disorders, doctors can control its severity and help the individual live a fairly normal and productive life.

In order for a doctor to determine if depression is hereditary, the diagnosing physician will often ask the patient if there are any other family members who have been diagnosed. Check ups performed on other family members will help the doctor determine the probability of a genetic cause or if it was caused by an outside or environmental issue. Doctors may ask to interview several members of the family who show signs of depression to see if they can find an underlying cause that ties them all together.

One significant concern is the connection of post-partum depression to genetics. A Columbia University professor determined in 1982, that children whose parents showed signs of depression, were three times as likely to be diagnosed after the age of 20. Mental illness became more apparent in families where one or more of the parents or siblings exhibited signs and symptoms of the disorder. Individuals who have what is known as “recurrent depression” that begins early in life and continues on through adulthood, who are approximately 4 times more likely to show the same signs.

While preventing depression from being passed on to children is virtually impossible, being prepared for its possibility will help parents understand their children’s moods and behaviours. Early diagnose and treatment can prevent suicidal tendencies, behavioral outbursts and mood swings that can eventually have an impact on the child’s social life. In cases, where family members are experiencing varying degrees of depression, counselling may be beneficial to ensure each person is receiving the treatment they need on a one on one basis. Along with medication and other aspects of a healthy lifestyle, the effects of depression can be greatly reduced lessening its impact on the entire family.

Is depression hereditary? The best way to find out is to check your family history and discuss the findings with your doctor.

It might also help if you check our post on whether depression is a mental illness? and spread the word about this question : Is Depression Hereditary ?

if you are still wondering “Is Depression Hereditary ?” Maybe it is time for you to seek therapy and counseling and get to the bottom of this question “Is Depression Hereditary” . Don’t let your life go to waste feeling depressed, get up and fight depression today!

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