Can you be born with depression? (A Comprehensive Guide)

In this article, we are going to discuss if someone can be born with depression. We will also be looking at why some individuals are more prone to depression.

Can you be born with depression?

Yes, specific individuals are born with a genetic makeup that makes them susceptible to depression, but it does not indicate that they will become depressed inevitably. It doesn’t imply that someone born with a different genetic makeup is free from the disease for a lifetime. Because of situational causes, some may experience depression, and often it’s a mixture of the two. A person can be born with a predisposition, but it requires an external catalyst to start the depressive episode.

Scientists continue to explore all potential sources of depression, which is crucial. The more information we have, the more progress could be made in creating successful therapies for people with depression. And it’s not just about developing effective treatment, though that’s important. The more we think about depression, the more a loved one who suffers from depression would be able to help.

The latest research has shown that it can be traced to a genetic connection in 40 percent of people with significant depression. Besides, a person with a depressed parent is approximately five times more likely than those with a depression-free family history to suffer from depression. And if your immediate family member struggles from extreme depression, you’re around one and a half to three times more likely than those without a depressed family member to experience depression.

Many of the most insightful studies on the genetics of depression come from the study of identical twins, who are beneficial as they have the same genetic information when researching genetics. If one identical twin suffers from depression, studies have found that the other would also experience depression 76 percent of the time. Even if you respond to environmental conditions, such as being raised in the same family, the statistics are still impressive.

Several experts believe that there certainly isn’t an utterly balanced brain.

We recognize that the brain’s dysfunctional mood receptors lead to depression, and since most of us acknowledge, the “serotonin imbalance” hypothesis is a massive exaggeration of how depression functions and one that causes many people with depression and medical practitioners to disregard therapeutic approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and other non-medical alternatives which have been shown to bypass treatments.

But depression may also be a “learned response, significantly when children grow up in an environment where intense depression is experienced by one or more of their close family members.

Children frequently emulate the acts of parents and siblings, and if they do not imitate, they appear to tolerate behavior seen as usual in their families. This extends to many facets of life, such as how most of us spent our early childhoods, believing that it was necessarily right for our parents.

Many studies suggest that children with depressed members of the family may grow up believing that having a depressed perspective on life is natural, spending full days sleeping, closing down when life becomes stressful or engaging in other negative behaviors. A lot of parents who are depressed are entirely functioning and active with their children. But if side effects of depression include dysfunctional coping strategies, it’s something kids will integrate into their own lives without actually knowing it.

You might always find yourself in the midst of a bout of depression, even though you may not have the genetic heritage and family background. There are numerous non-genetic causes of depression, and as the study progresses, more will possibly be found. Any of the factors known right now include being a victim of physical or sexual assault, loss of a parent early in life, struggling with a chronic physical condition, and as a child enduring physical and/or emotional deprivation.

People who are under many stressors simultaneously are often more likely to suffer from depression. The positive thing about situational depression is that you know what you need to fix in counseling, and it can be linked to a definite purpose.

If you’re trapped under challenging circumstances at home and work, you can bring life changes that will make you pull out of the bout of depression. When you are so low, it’s hard to do it, but a psychologist or other mental health specialist will help you to take action to do tasks like finding yourself employment in a healthy community and coping with the stressors that drag you down at home.

If you have a family history of the condition, don’t fear does not mean you’re going to inherit the disorder immediately. But, if you have depression symptoms, the most important thing is to recognize the red flags and receive therapy. Around 80 percent of depressed individuals who undergo medication say that it is beneficial, so it does not constitute a life sentence of suffering regardless of the trigger of the depression.

Depression and the causes

A psychological illness that affects mood, actions, and general wellbeing is depression. It induces persistent feelings of anxiety, frustration, despair, and a lack of enthusiasm in once-enjoyed hobbies. People with depression can also have a loss of appetite (leading to bingeing or not consuming enough), shifts in sleep habits, general fatigue, and trouble focusing.

While depression is generally considered a mental health condition, it might even have physical characteristics, like headaches, other unknown aches, extremely slow or rapid motions, and digestion issues. A person should have clinical symptoms almost every day for at least two weeks to be diagnosed with depression. The characteristics of this disorder do, however, vary significantly.

Causes of depression

In individuals diagnosed with chronic ailments such as multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, and migraine headaches, depression is normal. Research has shown that physiological changes that contribute to depressive symptoms can be triggered by chronic illnesses.

Some hormonal fluctuations can also contribute to depression. The hormonal volatility involved with the menstrual period, gestation, giving birth, and menopause, for instance, can all lead to depression.

It is also not rare to develop depression in individuals with thyroid disorders.

While symptoms appear to be more frequent in people with a low-functioning thyroid (hypothyroidism), anxiety and depression may also be encountered in individuals with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).

Trauma in early life is one of the most well-studied depression risk factors. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are proven to increase an individual’s lifelong risk, including depression, of acquiring both psychological and chronic physical disease.

  • Abuse: physical, psychological, sexual
  • Domestic dysfunction: domestic abuse, divorce, drug use, a mentally disturbed parent, an imprisoned parent
  • Neglect: Mental, physical

The ACE performance is closely related to their likelihood of mental and physical disease, poverty, and even premature death. If the number of ACEs rises and an individual with four or more ACEs is at an increased risk, the risk is higher.

Compared to individuals at or above the level of poverty, people in poverty were twice as likely to report depression. Not only does living below the poverty line put a person at a greater risk of depression, but if they are unable to function or do not have healthcare coverage and welfare care, the mental disorder will make it more difficult for someone to step out of a loop of socio-economic disadvantage.

There are also a variety of ways in which an individual’s place of living may affect mental health.

Studies have also established pollutants and other exposures to the atmosphere as possible contributors to depression.

In another study, children who grew up in neighborhoods with unhealthy air conditions tended to be more prone to be depressed or be identified with the psychological disorder by turning 18.

Specific personality characteristics, including low self-esteem, negativity, neuroticism, and self-criticism or “perfectionism,” have been associated with an increased inclination towards depression and other mental health problems such as anxiety and eating disorders.

Researchers are particularly keen to learn more about a personality trait that could make someone less prone to encounter depression. Resilience, or the traits or attributes that make certain people more likely to go back” from traumatic events, can also be crucial to avoiding and managing depression.

Significant life events—including typically optimistic occurrences such as marriage or traumatic events such as loss of jobs- cause tension. When we are nervous, our levels of cortisol increase. One hypothesis is that high levels of cortisol can influence serotonin levels.

Work-related stress can be a source of depression. Job loss is a direct source of stress, but the workplace environment can also lead to stress—especially if it doesn’t feel welcoming.

Increased use of social media can lead to depression by reducing the amount of physical activity and real-life communication. Sedentary lifestyles and social isolation are two factors that lead to poor mental health regardless of social media behaviors.

Diets high in sugar and trans fat, particularly high in refined foods, can facilitate or exacerbate depression, especially when combined with a sedentary lifestyle. A possible explanation for this relation is that high diets in such foods can cause weight gain.

The benefits of physical activity for our wellbeing are well recognized, but we learn more about how exercise can benefit depressed people control their symptoms.

BetterHelp: A Better Alternative

Those who are seeking therapy online may also be interested in BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers plenty of formats of therapy, ranging from live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions. In addition, unlimited messaging through texting, audio messages and even video messages are available here.

BetterHelp also offers couples therapy and therapy for teenagers in its platform. Furthermore, group sessions can also be found in this platform, covering more than twenty different topics related to mental health and mental illness. The pricing of BetterHelp is also pretty cost-effective, especially considering the fact that the platform offers financial aid to most users.


In this article, we discussed if someone can be born with depression. We also looked at why some individuals are more prone to depression.

FAQ: Can you be born with depression?

Is depression a learned behavior?

As per the behavioral theory, unhealthy or unconstructive habits, such as depression, are learned. Since depression has been taught, behavioral psychologists believe that it may also be unlearned.

Which gender is most likely to have depression?

Females are about twice as likely to be screened with depression as males are. Depression can appear at any time of age.

Which age group has the highest rate of depression?

Women aged 40 to 59 have the most significant prevalence of depression (12.3%) of any age-and gender-based category in the U.S., as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research.


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