There are several things you inherit from your parents the color of your hair and eyes, your skin tone, even your height. You inherit these traits because you have genes and these genes make up your DNA. Unfortunately, you also inherit predisposition to certain diseases and even mental illness. Researches have recently shown that depression could actually be inherited. It simply means that if someone in your family is suffering from clinical depression, then there is a very high probability that you too could become depressed.
Years ago, scientists did not really know where depression came from. The environment was always identified as the primary suspect as the cause of depression in general, but more recent studies show a strong evidence that clinical depression such as depressive disorder, manic depression and dysthymia is actually caused by chemical imbalances, the predisposition to which is inherited.
The results of recent studies show that if you do have a parent, an uncle, a brother or a sister who is suffering or has suffered from clinical depression, you have 1.5 to 3 times more chances of developing the same condition than someone who does not have such a condition within the family.
Recent researches have not really been successful in trying to narrow down the research to specify which gene actually causes clinical depression. Different studies have yielded different results. It was hypothesized that the gene may be different from one family to other, but this has never been proven to date.
So there is no actual conclusion as to which gene is the culprit that causes clinical depression. But there is very little debate about the fact that clinical depression is hereditary. It is nothing to be ashamed of in fact, depression is so common that it affects more than 19 million Americans each year. However, less than half of the people suffering from this mental illness acknowledge it and seek treatment. If you or someone in your family may be experiencing depression, consult a psychiatrist immediately.