Is depression genetic? Depression is caused by a combination of genes and environmental factors

Is depression genetic? Depression is caused by a combination of genes and environmental factors

Publication date: Aug 01, 2020

If you have a parent or sibling with depression, for instance, your risk of developing depression is 20% to 30% greater than the average person, who has a 10% risk.

A 2009 twin study in the University of Washington Twin Registry estimated the heritability of depression to be at 58% among 1,064 female twin pairs.

Another 2006 study of twins in Sweden published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that heritability of major depression was 42% in women and 29% in men, suggesting that some genetic risk factors may be specific to sex.

Witlen says the cause of depression is multifactorial, so while your genes may increase your risk of developing genetics, they aren’t the end-all be-all.

Other factors that increase risk of PPD include a family or personal history of depression, lack of support from family and friends, and relationship, or financial trouble.

A 2007 review published in the journal Psychological Medicine found that bereavement depression is more common in people who are young, have personal or family histories of depression, have poor health, and have poor social support.

It is estimated that 10 million Americans are affected by seasonal affective disorder – or seasonal depression – which is when major depressive episodes occur during the winter or colder months.

While your genes can put you at a higher risk, they don’t guarantee you will develop depression – environmental and lifestyle factors will also play a role.

Concepts Keywords
Cancer Biological psychiatry
CDC Mental disorder
Cytokines Mood disorder
Depression Postpartum depression
Emptiness RTT
Genetic Major depressive disorder
Genetics Abnormal psychology
Heritability Depression
Heritable Psychiatry
Hormone Psychiatric diagnosis
Identical Twins Human behavior
Inflammation Psychology
Maine Bereavement depression
Major Depressive Disorder Addition depression
Mental Illness SAD
Meta Analysis Higher risk depression
Pain Rate depression
Portland Common mental illness
Postpartum Depression Member depression
PPD Heritability major depression
Pregnancy Psychiatric disorder
Protein Pain
Psychiatric Disorder Heritability depression
Psychiatrist Major depressive disorder
Sadness Depression genetic Depression
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Depression
Social Support


Type Source Name
disease MESH inflammation
disease MESH seasonal affective disorder
disease MESH cancer
disease MESH emotional stress
disease MESH death
disease MESH men
disease MESH risk factors
disease MESH postpartum depression
drug DRUGBANK p-Phenylenediamine
disease MESH development
disease MESH psychiatric disorder
disease MESH lifestyle
disease MESH depression
disease MESH Major depressive disorder
disease MESH diagnosis

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