Saturday, June 2, 2007

Is Depression Hereditary?

(c)Faye B. Roberts

Is Depression Hereditary?

"Depression runs in the Family" or "It's in your genes" are commonly given as causes of depression. If you are suffering from depression, being told you are "bound to get it", can be a very unhelpful statement to have tossed at you. After having looked at the information let's try to answer the question,” Is Depression Hereditary?"

There is evidence that some forms of depression have a genetic basis, in particular manic depression, or bipolar disorder. However, with those two exceptions most depression is learned, not genetic. Because depression has to do with styles of thinking, behavior and interpersonal relationships, depressive styles can be passed down in families. So if you had a parent or close family member who suffered from depression you will have learned the basic behavior models from them.

Does that mean that because you experienced the results of depression as a child you will automatically suffer from it as well? No. It is now known that most family depression is learned, not genetic. It only means that you are more predisposed towards that behavior. Just as a person, who as a child experienced an overbearing or domineering parent, that child does not necessarily exhibit those same traits when they become an adult, so with depression.

Even if you do have a genetic predisposition to depression passed down by a family member, it's nothing more than a predisposition. You are not certain to become depressed, not by any means. There is no gene for depression, and there never can be because genes just don't work that way. But keep in mind, it's incredibly hard not to be effected by a depressed person and as children much of our behavior is learned from our parents.

Depression can occur, or be triggered by an existing medical condition as well. The physical effects of depression are real and often very debilitating, but only around 10-18% of depressions are set off by another medical condition. And as depressing as some diseases are, they don't automatically cause depression. Pain, for example, can cause an inability to enjoy daily activities, disturb sleep patterns, make life less pleasant, and cause general feelings of hopelessness. Some food allergies, when undiagnosed cause low energy levels, interrupted sleep, and increased worry as the person tries to figure out what is wrong with them. But they do not cause depression.

To fully understand the link between physical causes of depression, and depression itself, a close examination of the thinking styles associated with depressive behavior must be made. It's similar to the age old question, "What came first, the chicken or the egg?" In this case it's, "What came first the depression or the pain?” Are you depressed because you are in pain, or are you in pain because you are depressed? A person with a family history of depression may answer that question totally differently then a person with no depression history.

So, to answer the question, “Is Depression hereditary?” the answer is no. Someone may be predisposed towards depression if members of their family suffered with it, but this however does not guarantee they too will become depressed. Learned behavior does play a role, but learned behavior is a choice we as adults can alter.
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Faye B. Roberts is an independant researcher and author on depression and is assisting others in their quest to understand this serious illness. Discover a new way of thinking and coping with depression that will change the way you look, feel and live your life. Visit Facts On Depression

5 comments:

Dr.Liz said...

Children who spent hours in front of the television are not always jolly, lively, and happy. They apart from developing a dislike towards their neighbouring environment and suspiciousness also run the risk of falling into depression. Studies have also shown that most of the children watch the television out of insecurity and a mental disturbance also. http://www.xanax-effects.com/

JohnKerry said...
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JohnKerry said...
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JohnKerry said...
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JohnKerry said...

While researchers are becoming increasingly aware that depression can be genetic, there is a need to put some more light on this topic because it is often misinterpreted. Is Depression Hereditary? Many people have a misconception that if their parents or any of their relatives had depression at some point in their lives, it will develop within themselves too. In reality, this is not entirely true, but yes, you need to be extra conscious when the problem is genetic.
References :
https://www.findatopdoc.com/Mental-Health/Understanding-the-Causes-of-Depression-Is-Depression-Hereditary