Is Depression Genetic or Environmental?

It can be tough to watch a close family member suffer from depression. Does that indicate that you will also experience the same distress? 

Depression is heritable. Half of the time, the causes of depression are genetic; other times, the reasons are psychological and physical factors. The most typical form of depression is called the Major Depressive Disorder. 

is depression inheritable causes, symptoms, and effects

Genetic Inheritance

Major Depressive Disorder is shared among siblings and children. Like genetic inheritance, depression can run in families. Indeed, genetic inheritance determines our physical characteristics. It also determines the diseases we may encounter. 

No individual should have the same genetic makeup except identical twins. Studies show that identical twins would both suffer from severe depression 76% of the time if one of them becomes depressed. Even when they are not raised together in the same environment, there is still a 67% chance that both will be depressed and suffer from clinical depression.

Though fraternal twins don't look alike, they do share 50% of the same genetic makeup. Studies show that there is still a 19% chance for both of them to experience clinical depression.

Environmental Factors

Not all cases of depression are caused by genetic inheritance. Environmental factors are the events and all the things that are happening around or towards us: living in poverty, losing a job being abused, being neglected. These encounters trigger our emotions and gradually lead to depression. Some of these environmental factors can cause more severe and significant depression than others, but these are all things that could happen to anybody.

Many researchers believe there’s no single gene that puts someone at risk for depression. It’s more likely a combination of genes that lead to the disorder. The causes of bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders may also be traced to a combination of genetic factors.