Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Can One Inherit Depression?

There is great concern among parents on whether depression can be inherited. Recent medical studies have been conducted to find the possible relationship between depression and genetics. Initial conclusions are cautious, but many psychologists say that depression can be inherited – but only to a certain extent.

There is a new school of thought regarding depression. Mental health practitioners have now adopted a biopsychosocial view of this. Like any other physical illness, depression can be passed down to a child. This child is predisposed to the disease. However, there are other two factors to consider. Merely having the predisposition for the condition does not necessarily mean that the person will develop it. Family and social environment also play an important role in depression manifestation.

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Depression is a mental illness. It can hit anyone, regardless of sexuality, religion, age, or circumstance. However, a common characteristic among those who suffer from depression is their poor coping mechanism. Diet and exercise also come into play. Nevertheless, coping strategies are an essential factor. It is related to the way people perceive experiences and how they can handle them. These strategies are often the result of early childhood interactions with parents and guardians. It is, therefore, important that parents not only teach their children good coping strategies but actively act them out them as well. Children typically learn through parroting behavior.

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If a good family and social life are not possible, this can be honed through other means. Good friends, a trusting guidance counselor, or a visit to one’s child psychologist can be enough to help a child decrease the risk of developing the disease.

Jonathan Lauter, M.D., is a professional child and adolescent psychologist who specializes on depression and anxiety. Read similar articles on this blog.

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