Can Depression, Anxiety, And Other Mental Health Disorders Run In Families?

Is depression something you can inherit from your parents? Maybe you’ve watched a loved one suffer from depression, anxiety, or another mental illness, and it left you wondering if you will also inherit that condition. Though there’s plenty of research on the connection between genetics and depression, there’s still a lot to explore.

            Is depression genetic, environmental, or caused by something else?

            Here’s what science tells us.

            There’s A Depression Gene

            Think back to 7th-grade science class and you might recall a basic lesson or two about genetics. Remember that genes are the building blocks of all life. Genetics help explain what makes you unique, why some family members look like they could be twins, and why certain diseases tend to run in families.

            In one British study, the chromosome 3p25-26 was found in more than 800 families with recurrent depression which traces depression to a genetic link. But depression isn’t 100% genetic – – scientists think that number is more like 40%.

            So, what about the other 60%??  Science points to environmental factors.

            Environment Matters When It Comes To Depression

            We know that there is a strong correlation between a person’s environment and depression. For example, people who live unhealthy lifestyles may also have a more difficult time overcoming depression symptoms than healthier people. Some studies have shown that people who have parents or family members with depression may be more susceptible. If you spend your life watching someone suffer from untreated depression symptoms, then you might not realize their behaviors are unhealthy.

            Conclusion: It’s Not Just One Factor

            Most mental health conditions don’t have a single cause. There are many factors that come into play. According to Mental Health America, the following are considered risk factors for developing a mental illness:

            Genetics. Mental illness often runs in the family.

            Environment. Living in a stressful environment can make you more likely to develop a mental illness. Things like living in poverty or having an abusive family put a lot of stress on your brain and often trigger mental illness.

            Childhood trauma. Even if you’re no longer in a stressful environment, things that happened to you as a child can have an impact later in life.

            Stressful events: like losing a loved one, or being in a car accident.

            Negative thoughts. Constantly putting yourself down or expecting the worst can get you stuck in a cycle of depression or anxiety.

            Unhealthy habits: like not getting enough sleep, or not eating.

            Drugs and alcohol: Abusing drugs and alcohol can trigger a mental illness. It can also make it harder to recover from mental illness.

            Brain chemistry. Mental illness involves an imbalance of natural chemicals in your brain and your body.  (source: Mental Health America)

            Find Relief At Clear Mind Treatment

            Since depression and other mental health conditions aren’t just caused by one thing, they require many options and therapies to find a solution that provides relief for YOU! We have a variety of effective therapy solutions at Clear Mind Treatment to help you get on the path to renewed wellness. Come see us in our Torrance location!

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