Is Depression Genetic?

Depression can be mild or severe, last a few days or a few years, and is more common than many would assume. Verywell Mind describes the symptoms of depression as being: inability to sleep, inability to concentrate, constant fatigue, and recurring thoughts of death or suicide. Another symptom of depression is feeling like you are all alone. But trust us, you are not. Approximately 300 million people worldwide experience depression. Stanford Medicine notes that around 10% of the population in the U.S. will experience major depressive disorder during the course of their life. For many, the source of their depression may be unclear. Which is why the question of depression being a genetic condition or not is a popular discussion. Firstly, there are a few signs that this condition may run in the family if someone has a parent or sibling with major depression: That person likely has two or three times greater risk of developing depression compared with the average person.

The likelihood of depression being more usual in some families than others may be the case. However, there is talk of a "depression gene" that doesn't exist. Individuals don't "inherit' depression from their mothers or fathers, relays Stanford Medicine.

Depression is not genetic but it may be a shared condition with other family members

Verywell Mind claims depression can develop for a number of reasons including: stress, anxiety, being postpartum, and traumatic events such as a divorce or loss of loved one. If you are noticing or feeling symptoms of depression, "Open up," suggests Rachel Brathen, a New York Times bestselling author, yoga teacher, and Philosophy brand ambassador, to Byrdie. "Sharing how we feel is the most important part when it comes to emotional balance. Pain grows in the dark, so let it out." In addition to finding someone to talk to, Brathen recommends exercise, getting enough sleep, and starting a gratitude journal to keep your mental health at the forefront of your mind.

Depression may be more common within some families than in others, but it's not inherited nor is there is a depression gene. If you've tried the DIY remedies listed above and are still feeling low, reach out to your doctor or a medical health professional to discuss different treatment options.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.