22 Jul Is Major Depressive Disorder Genetic?
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a very common mental illness characterized by ongoing and persistent feeling of sadness and hopelessness that typically occurs for six months or more. Though all the causes for major depressive disorder are unknown, research has uncovered that genetics most likely play a key role in its development.
It has been estimated that around 10 to 15 percent of the general population will experience major depression in their lifetime.
To be or not to be hereditary
Studies on major depressive disorder conducted on twins and a family indicated that genetic factors do significantly increase
likelihood of developing the disorder. The results from the twin study suggest a heritability or 40 to 50 percent. The study done on the family indicated that there is a twofold to threefold increase in risk of developing MDD over a lifetime among first-degree relatives to an individual with MDD.