You probably know someone who has experienced depression. You may even have had your own encounter with this debilitating mental health disorder. Depression is such a pervasive phenomenon that it’s almost impossible not to come across it at least once in your life. But where does it come from? Is depression genetic? A triggering event or catalyst? Research into how depression starts is still ongoing but has shed some helpful light on how it can manifest in different people. But for those already coping with symptoms of depression, remember that you are not alone.
At True Life Center, our team of experts is ready to help. We have designed our major depression treatment program to give people the support and strategies to cope with depression. If you or someone you care about may benefit from mental health treatment in San Diego, reach out to our team today by calling 866.420.1792 or completing our online contact form. First, however, it is best to explore the idea that depression is hereditary.
Is Depression Hereditary?
Although there are many types of depression, the one that affects many millions of Americans and that has experienced the most coverage in popular culture is clinical depression, also referred to as major depressive disorder (MDD). Among the different forms of depression, MDD is more often shared by siblings, children, and other close relatives. Studies have shown that having a relative who struggles with depression makes an individual almost five times likelier to develop it. The scientific community is clear on the fact that depression is hereditary. But why? Is it nature, nurture, or a combination of the two?
Genetics & Environment
In a recent research effort, a team from the UK isolated chromosome 3p25-26 in more than 800 families who exhibited recurrent major depression. Their results were corroborated by another research group, amounting to “the first report of a genome-wide significant locus for depression that also has an independent genome-wide significant replication.” At the same time, the authors of the paper are careful to stress that both genetic and environmental factors play a hand in whether or not a predisposition for something like depression expresses itself in a person’s lifetime. Growing up in a household with someone whose depression renders him bedridden, for example, may influence what a child perceives as normal behavior. A child may also unknowingly mimic depressive behaviors in a parental figure as a natural part of her development.
Dysfunction, Abuse, & Other Risk Factors
While being exposed to depression and depressive behavior can further predispose a child to develop MDD or a similar disorder later in life, other dynamics at home may play an equally critical role. Home should feel like a sanctuary from the rest of the world’s chaos, a safe harbor full of nurturing and support. But when home life features more dysfunction than function, it can negatively impact childhood, adolescence, and beyond. Conflict and abuse can engender a heightened reactivity to stressors. The more stressors one comes up against, the more it can push someone towards depression. Although scientists have yet to understand why, exactly, the key may lie in further work on epigenetics, which investigates how an environment can influence whether or not certain genes turn on or off.
Good News for Those with Depression
Not everyone exposed to dysfunction and stressors or who has a genetic predisposition for depression will experience it. This means there is some biological mechanism at work that may help scientists uncover ways to build resilience against depression. And in the meantime, there’s more good news for people struggling with depression: help is here. At True Life Center, our team of experienced mental health professionals offer numerous approaches to finding your way through depression to a healthy, stable, sustainable life that fulfills your most authentic self. Even during the global pandemic, remember that you are not alone and that treatment is available to you.
TLC’s Neurobiological Integration Approach
At True Life Center, our dedicated staff is drawn to working with people on finding and freeing their true selves to live their best lives. Our team understands mental illness and depression, and we can help you or your loved one explore a healing path that’s custom-designed for you. Our unique Neurobiological Integration approach aims to identify the root cause of illness and gets results by using the synergistic combination of:
- Individual psychotherapy with DBT, CBT, EMDR and/or psychodynamic approach
- Expert psychiatric treatment
- Mindfulness and self-compassion practices
- Yoga therapy
- Body healing with Qi Gong
Find Support and Healing for Depression at True Life Center
At True Life Center, we are committed to helping individuals find and express their authentic selves. When suffering is deep and enduring, understanding the path forward brings comfort and hope. We aim to provide a comprehensive map for long-term recovery from depression and for sustaining optimal health. We listen carefully to you and your loved ones to understand and co-collaborate in creating your recovery plan.
Finding treatment for depression may seem challenging right now, but our team is ready to help with our depression treatment in San Diego. Begin to heal today by contacting our team at 866.420.1792 or completing our online form.