There are a number of causes of depression, and in order to successfully work through a depression treatment program you will find it hugely beneficial to examine all of the potential causes of your depression. While environmental causes of depression definitely bear looking into, it is important to also consider the link between depression and genetics; especially if you are aware of another member of the family who may have struggled with their own depression or another type of mental illness.
Could You Have Inherited Depression?
We all love to gaze at the children in our family, marveling how they have inherited their grandfather’s hazel eyes or their aunt’s freckles on their nose. However, a fair number of behavioral and psychological characteristics can be passed down through genetics as well.
Recent studies have indicated that there is a clear link between clinical depression and genetics. It is thought that when there is a clear pattern of depression in your family, there is as high as a 60% chance for you to develop one form of depression in your lifetime. That is not to say that a lack of a family history means that you won’t develop depression, as there are many other factors that can contribute to depression. Illness, environmental factors, medication, and traumatic experiences can all contribute to the depression that you are struggling with.
Determining Your Genetic Risk for Depression
If you are already struggling with depression, you may be less than inspired to learn about the causes of clinical depression. Knowing the genetic factors of depression can actually help guide the type of depression help that you receive. And, of course, if there is a notable link between depression and genetics in your family, you’ll be able to advise your family members who may also be at increased risk for depression issues.
In order to determine whether some of the origins of depression stem from your family’s history, take an inventory of the life situations and past experiences of your immediate family. This would include your mother, your father, and your siblings. Do any of them struggle with one form of depression?
Start to take a wider look at your family tree, to include your grandparents, your aunts and uncles, your cousins, and so on. It is important to remember that depression and addiction can often go hand-in-hand. This means that if a member of your family is an addict, then there is a good chance that the addiction was influenced by depression and genetics.
Don’t Let Genetics Define Your Mental Health
Even with a strong family history of depression, it is important to keep in mind that you do not have to allow your genetics to dictate the type of life you will lead. Recognizing the genetic factors of depression can be the first step you take toward getting help for your depression.
Don’t delay getting the valuable treatment that will help you to break free from depression.