Depression Runs In The Family

If a member of your immediate family developed chronic severe depression before age 31, you have a greater likelihood of being diagnosed with depression as well.

An analysis of more than 600 people and their families from around the United States suggested the odds are greater than two to one that people with close relatives who have chronic severe depression will also suffer from it.

Scientists have long known that major depression runs in families, but this research was designed to see whether some subtypes of depression have a stronger family association, according to Dr. James B. Potash, writing in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

The study results suggests that chronic severe depression could have a genetic link, but it could also be due to a family catastrophe such as the early death of a parent or physical and/or sexual abuse.