Is Depression Hereditary?
People whose parents and grandparents suffered from depression are at much higher risk of developing the illness, a new study suggests.
The research found that if a person’s grandparent and parent each had depression, their own odds for the disorder tripled.
“In this study, biological offspring with two previous generations affected with major depression were at highest risk for major depression,” concluded a team led by Myrna Weissman of Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, in New York City.
One expert in brain health stressed, however, that depression is never inevitable, even for members of families with a history of the disease.
“While family history increases the risk factor for depression, it does not mean that someone will definitely become depressed,” said Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, president of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation in New York City.