Can Genetics be a Major Cause of Depression?

December 08, 2020

In the past generation no disease or disorder has gained as much traction and recognition as depression. Depression is officially one of the most widely recognized mental disorders in the world and is the most common mental disorder in the world as everyone between the age of 18 to 30 experiences it at least once in their life.

Although depression is one of the most infamous mental disorders currently known to man, scientists have yet to find a specific cause for depression. Yet they have found that there are a multitude of factors that can affect depression. While factors like traumatic incidents or chemical composition in the brain are two of the most obvious factors that cause depression, one that people do not usually consider is genetics.

Depression resembles other diseases in many ways, there are certain triggers for the illness or disorder, then there are symptoms of the illness, after which begins the diagnosis and then treatment. Since scientists observed that depression, in many ways, is like any common illness, they saw to the possibility that depression can be a genetically transferable disease. To their surprise depression is actually very capable of spreading from parents onto the children or can run through the family.

A review by Jonathan Flint and Kenneth S. Kendler sought out the scientific evidence as to whether depression can possibly be linked to genetics. The scientists found that most studies completed in the early 2000s saw that heritability of depression lied somewhere in 37 – 45%. All of the studies that both these scientists reviewed were the result of twin studies.

The review performed by Jonathan Flint and Kenneth S. Kendler proved that there is a possibility that children may inherit depression from their parents. Their review also showed that women are more susceptible to inheriting depression from their parents rather than men.

The results of the tests performed in the study that the scientists reviewed showed that women were nearly 40% more likely to inherit depression as opposed to men who are only 30% likely to inherit depressive symptoms.

Thanks to the review performed by scientists Jonathan Flint and Kenneth S. Kendler, not only does the theory of genetic transfer of depression seem to be true, we now know that inheritability also differs between different sexes. Genetics is a very viable cause for depression and you can also be a victim of depression if it happens to run in your family.

 

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