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A 46-year-old member asked:

Can manic depression or regular depression run in the family?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Miroslava Fox
Clinical Psychology 16 years experience
See Below: There's some evidence that depression and or psychiatric disorders, as well as suicidal behaviors have a familial relationship. As with many things, environment comes into play together with genes. If there are these issues in your family, please find a psychotherapist to help you work through them and create a "crisis card" in case help is needed.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Yes: that can occur. But there is usually a mix of genetics and environment at play. There may be skip generations. Penetrance for genetic predispositions is variable. You might look at a family line and see that one person has unipolar depression, another is bipolar, one has anxiety disorders and another suffers from substance abuse. In other words- it is not as simple as bipolar begets bipolar.
Dr. Andrew Berry
Clinical Psychology 15 years experience
Yes: Much of the time there is s strong family/genetic component of heredity in mental health disorders, which can be cross-generationally traced.
Last updated Oct 4, 2016


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