Is depression hereditary? : Answering a Common Query

An In Depth Look at Depression

Depression is one of the most common emotional conditions existing in the society that has the affinity for almost any age most especially age groups that are facing many struggles and life changes. It is defined as the extreme feeling of sadness, despair, hopelessness and grief. It often occurs as a person feels that one is truly in a state of being worthless thus being able to greatly lose one’s self-esteem. This affects a person’s outlook in life which is why depressed persons usually have no drive to continue their daily activities and sometimes even their lives. Depression can be experienced by almost everybody and it can be very common. Though this is a really common experience, different mean can be used to deal with depression.

Depression greatly affects how people interact with others and how they perceive themselves. It somehow hinders their ability to allow them to grow and progress. They usually tend to fail in their functioning because they are clouded by their negative emotions. This can be attributed to many different factors but it still one big question nowadays whether depression is something that is passed through genes or something that is hereditary.

Taking the Depression Away

Of course, when you have to deal with eliminating or treating depression, you must always consider the cause or the root of it. You cannot determine an appropriate treatment for the condition if you would not be able to determine the main cause or the origin of the problem. This is a must for any kind of disease or condition that you may encounter. You must not only treat a disease or condition from the symptoms or it manifestations. It will always be better to treat the problem from the root to be able to eliminate it completely. It could either be a bad experience or a sad memory, or it can also be physiological problem with the regulation of certain substances in the body particularly those involving the brain.

These are just some of the most common factor attributed to depression these days. Situations of loss are the most common causes of depression. But one of the questions that have been boggling the minds of people is whether genetic predisposition can be one cause of depression. You must not close your doors to the fact that this condition might also be considered as something that can be passed on through generations.

The Possibility for Genetic Link

In answering such question, it can be said that depression is something that can be genetically linked. The physiological cause of depression is attributed to decrease levels of serotonin and also other neurotransmitters usually the stimulating ones. It is said that these decreased hormone levels is somehow related to a certain gene that can be passed through time and can be inherited. Though the condition is not the one that is entirely passed from one generation to the next, the predisposition to have depression is the one that can be passed through time.

At the moment, there has no discovery yet regarding a specific depression gene that is responsible for the genetic predisposition. However, it has been observed through studies that once you have a family member that has or had depression, you will be more likely prone to have it as well. This is the basis why it is stated that depression can be hereditary. It might not be the exact disease that is hereditary; it can be the cause of depression particularly the physiological cause that can be hereditary in nature.

Though there can be no significant evidence proven yet, it is theoretically postulated that there is a great possibility of a genetic link for depression in any of its aspects. There are no actual exact evidence that will prove the existence of a depression gene however, it is still thought that maybe at some point depression can be passed through families.

A Learned Behavior

It may not be known but depression can be also considered as something that can be acquired through time something that can be compared to a behavior. It can be something that we can learn from our environment especially from the people significant to us. It is learned through the way we see others deal with their losses. You can also apply those to yourself and eventually acquire the predisposition to depression emotionally, behaviorally.

Just because occurrences of depression is common among families does not necessarily mean it is already hereditary. Though this led to several studies determining the possibility of the linkage of depression in families, this must still be proved accordingly. When there is already a definite discovered gene for depression that will be the time that you can be sure that depression can be hereditary. But as of know, you can consider the genetics predisposition as a great possibility or in other terms a very “likely” condition. Several studies must be continuously pursued to prove this but the fact that it is possible and likely would somehow bring the generalization to the positive side that depression is genetically linked.

Maybe, by the time that the genetic linkage of depression is already proven, treatment modalities can also be modified or even developed in relation to that. You can notice nowadays that treatments for depression would only include therapies and other pharmacologic means. If the genetic predisposition for depression is already proven, there might already be existing treatments or preventive measures for it.


Therefore the answer to the question whether depression is genetically linked is somehow given an answer though still not much proven and generalized formally due to insufficiency. It can be said that depression specifically the physiological factors relating to depression can be somehow passed from one generation to the next. These physiological factors involve decreased hormone levels in the brain. Several studies must still be made to gather enough evidence regarding this genetic link and to eventually turn the hypothesis into a conclusion and a generalization and to somehow formally declare it as a fact.