Science Snippet: Is Depression Inherited?

Is depression inherited? Researchers studied the mental health histories of 251 men and women averaging 18 years of age, and also examined the histories of their parents and grandparents. Compared to participants with no family history of depression, individuals whose parents had major depression were twice as likely to develop the condition. They were also more vulnerable to addiction, suicidal thoughts and attempts, and disruptive behavior. If participants had a parent and a grandparent who had major depression, they were three times more likely to develop the illness. People with a family history of depression should be aware of symptoms of the illness and seek professional help if depression arises, for the condition is very treatable. (Weiss et al, 2016, J. American Medical Assoc., vol. 73, Sept. issue)