All Children's Hospital Logo

Health Information Library

Teens > Q&A > Depression, Suicide & Self-Injury > Can Depression Be Inherited?
Can Depression Be Inherited?

Can depression be inherited? I was just wondering because I have depression, along with my mom, sister, and aunts.
- Shane*

A person might feel depressed for many reasons, and sometimes genetics plays a role. Having parents or other family members who are depressed can increase the likelihood that someone may become depressed. But even when depression may be partly due to an inherited tendency, it usually takes a combination of factors for a person to develop depression.

Stressful events, family conflict, big disappointments, or grief can all trigger depression. Relationships with people who criticize more than they show affection can lead to depression because they may teach a girl or guy to become self-critical and to feel inadequate, two feelings often associated with depression. For some girls, hormonal changes might play a role in depression and irritable moods. And in some people, certain medical conditions can cause low energy and a depressed mood.

It's important to remember, though, that having family members with depression does not necessarily mean that someone will become depressed. And people with no family history can become depressed, too.

Whatever the contributing factors may be, depression is a very treatable condition. If you feel depressed or are concerned, discuss your symptoms with a health professional who can evaluate you and recommend treatment. If you ever feel extremely depressed or like you might hurt yourself, get help immediately.

Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: March 2012

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Related Articles
T    5 Ways to Fight Depression
T    Am I Depressed or Just Not Trying?
T    Finding Low-Cost Mental Health Care
T    Talking to Parents About Depression
T    When Depression Is Severe
T    Why Do People Get Depressed?
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2015 KidsHealth® All rights reserved. Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and

Additional Info

Pocket Doc Mobile App
Maps and Locations (Mobile)
Programs & Services
For Health Professionals
For Patients & Families
Contact Us
Find a Doctor

All Children's Hospital
501 6th Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 898-7451
(800) 456-4543

Use Normal Template
© 2015 All Children's Hospital - All Rights Reserved