Is Depression Hereditary?

Hi, I’m Angela, I have a husband with bipolar 2 disorder, my kids have ADHD, and I myself have struggled with depression—YOU’RE NOT ALONE! In this week’s mental health tips we’re gonna look at depression and genetics.

Here’s our real-life question…

Real Life Question: “My mother has been fighting depression on and off since she was a teenager like me. I’m worried that since she has it I’ll automatically struggle too. Is there any connection with depression and genetics?”

Real Life Answer: That’s a great question. Genetics plays a part in depression, but there’s not a direct pattern of inheritance. There are a lot of factors. Researchers are continuing to look for what predisposes individuals to develop depression, but here are some of the factors…


  • If you have a family history of depression than you may have close to a 50% greater risk at developing depression and having a parent or sibling with depression increases your risk 2-3 times that of the average person.
  • Other factors are hormones, traumatic events, stress or substance use.

According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, so it’s a common issue across the globe. In the US alone, 10% of our population will experience a major depressive episode at some point in their lifetime.

Don’t forget that we are each unique individuals. We are not JUST our genetics. We are not JUST the traumatic events that we’ve endured. We are not JUST our stressful situations. We are heart, mind, and soul. As we address issues of mental health we can treat all of who God created us to be, whatever our genetics, and whatever our diagnosis.

As the Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:10…


For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10


What real life questions about mental illness do you have? I’d love to hear from you today, comment below.

No more confusion or wondering how you’ll face the roller coaster of life with mental illness. Mental Health Academy is here to take the mystery away, and give you the knowledge and the tools you need to have relationships that last! The time is NOW to get our first course: Trauma.

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