Is Depression Hereditary?

By Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D.

I think I’m suffering from depression, and need advice, and also is depression hereditary?

A: Hello and thanks for your question:

I don’t know if you meant this to be your full question, but I will try to answer what I can. If you think you have depression, speak to a doctor. It’s hard to self-diagnose. Go see a psychiatrist if you can; they are best equipped to treat depression.

The short answer to the second part of your question is that yes, we think it runs in families. We aren’t quite sure if it’s just genetic, or if we “get it” when mom is pregnant with us, if she’s depressed at the time, or if we “learn it” through circumstances while growing up.

Many things can make us depressed. Sometimes it’s mainly a chemical thing, sometimes it’s a reaction to something that has happened.  You might want to do some research. You can learn more about depression here.

I hope this helps,

Dr. Diana Walcutt

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Jun 2009

APA Reference
Walcutt, D. (2009). Is Depression Hereditary?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/06/29/is-depression-hereditary/