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Is Depression Hereditary?

Is Depression Hereditary? Depression has many causes, some of which prove evasive even to researchers. But doctors do know that genetics can play a role in the development of mood disorders. If you have a family history of this mental health condition, you are more likely to suffer it, yourself.

Depression Hereditary

The Role of Heredity in Depression

Although researchers know genetics play a big role in many mental health disorders, you are not predestined to experience conditions that affect family members. Other factors like environment and trauma play a role along with heredity, in whether you suffer a mood disorder. Genetics simply influence your likelihood of developing such a condition, making you more likely than someone without depression in their genes.

Some research shows that having a first-degree relative with depression makes you three times more likely to share their diagnosis, in comparison to other people without this genetic makeup. A first-degree relative is a biological parent, child, or sibling. But you should also know that having this link is not the only way that mood disorders develop. Someone with no family history can also suffer from these types of conditions. Some research also shows that women are more likely to experience depression through heredity than men with the same genetic tie.

In 2017, researchers discovered two new gene changes that appear to be markers for depression. Also, there are multiple large studies going on now, investigating potential links between genes and major depressive disorder. In 2018, a study into this subject matter was published in the journal Nature Genetics. Also, that study identified genetic variants that seem to relate to symptoms and differences found in the brains of people with this mental health condition. Although research points to some clear connections between heredity and depressive disorders, no one has clearly identified one specific "depression gene."

What are the signs of clinical depression?

Genes are inherited in many different ways, according to research. This means that having a parent or sibling with depression does not necessarily mean you share that genetic tendency. Furthermore, the gene may pass you by. For this reason, your therapist does not use genetic testing to determine if you have clinical depression. Instead, they look at your symptoms.

Depression symptoms include:

  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Appetite changes
  • Sleep changes
  • Aches and pains
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Guilt
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions

Does your therapist base your depression treatment on genetics?

Your therapist does not base your treatment on your genetic makeup. Instead, they use your specific needs to determine the best course of action. This treatment can include medication, therapy, and other types of interventions. Additionally, a combination of methods often works best. This said, heredity can influence your outcome, particularly in research showing that your genes affect how well medications work for individuals.

Your treatment for depression can include:


How your depression treatment works for you depends on many factors. For example, for therapy to work, you must attend your sessions and participate in counseling or other activities. Furthermore, the process of treatment and its results take time. Although you can expect to feel more hopeful and positive after starting treatment, you will see the best results over a period of time. Also, your therapist can help you understand the course of treatment and what to expect.

Making therapy work for you is very important to your future. Stay flexible in your immediate and long-term expectations. Communicate openly with your psychologist or another counselor for the best results. Also, stay open to trying new methods of therapy while staying on course in ongoing approaches. Also, there is no "one size fits all" solution for depression. Sometimes it takes a little trial-and-error to find the right methods for your greatest benefit.

Depression Treatment at Greene Psychology Group

If you believe you suffer depression, do not put off getting the help you need. This help is available now at Greene Psychology Group in Raleigh, North Carolina. Also, we provide both face-to-face counseling and online therapy for your greatest convenience. Is depression hereditary? Yes, but there are steps that therapy can help with its symptoms. We hope this article helped answer the question, is depression hereditary? Call us for scheduling at 919-205-5339.

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