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A female asked:

is depression genetic? and if so how can you tell if you have it?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Depression: Depression is due to a combination of genetic vulnerability and environmental influence. Studies show increased incidence in monozygotic twins, and that vulnerability to depression is more heritable in women than men. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=16390897 prolonged sad mood, loss of interest, and changes in energy, sleep, and appetite are some symptoms of depression.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Provided original answer
A person may have genetic vulnerability to depression, but manifesting it is a more complicated process that includes many environmental (epigenetic) factors like diet, exercise, substance abuse, sleep pattern, quality of family and social relationships, history of abuse/neglect, other medical illnesses etc.
Jul 10, 2013

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A member asked:

Are there some genetic reasons I get depression off and on?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. William Holmes
Child Psychiatry 34 years experience
Quite Possibly: Depression tends to occur with people who have a history of close family members who also struggle with depression. There are risk factors related to genetics that are still not well understood.
A 42-year-old member asked:

Is depression passed down like a genetic condition?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Reidbord
Psychiatry 36 years experience
Partly: There's an increased statistical risk of getting major depressive disorder (clinical depression) if close relatives have had it. But it's not a purely genetic trait like eye color. Genetics and life circumstances both affect the likelihood of depression. Regardless of genetics, there's a lot a person can do to avoid depression, or to treat it if it occurs.

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Last updated May 9, 2016

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