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We understand a few things about depression. First, depression is a normal part of life; for example, we experience depression as part of the grieving process. Second, depression can be hereditary. That is, at least, as a mental illness. Research has provided us with the knowledge that when one parent has a mental illness, like depression, their child is four to five times more likely to also develop a mental illness, like depression. Thirdly, we know that depression can develop as a coping mechanism, or as a response to life events like trauma. Though this seems like a lot of information about depression, we’ve only really scratched the surface in our understanding of depression.

New research has given us a greater clue to how depression develops; specifically, the hereditary connection depression might have. Nature Communications published a study conducted by scientists around the world which discovered 80 previously unknown genes that are linked to depression.

Using data from the UK Biobank and data from the genetics company 23andMe, the researchers were able to look for similarities in the genes of people with any kind of depression genes called phenotypes. “Some of the genes they identified are involved in the function of synapses,” writes Inverse, “the connections between neurons that allow brain cells to communicate to each other.” The researchers discovered that there was indeed a connection between the genetics of people with self-reported depression and the genetics of those who were clinically diagnosed with depression. Eighty similarities, to be exact.

Depression is understood to be genetic, but has not yet been proven to be hereditary. Part of the reason that depression is still regarded as a “mood” disorder rather than a serious illness is because of this lacking connection. These new findings could support a genetic based understanding of depression, as well as encourage genetic based treatments.

As one of the world’s leading mental health conditions, it is critical to continue progressing in finding treatments for depression. Over 300 million people experience depression around the world. Depression is a leading contributing factor in global disability, work production loss, and much more.

Everyone has a story of trauma before they come treatment. Everyone leaves with a story of recovery when they leave treatment. The Guest House Ocala is a private treatment center specializing in the treatment of trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues. Your program of care is customized according to your specific experiences and needs. Our luxury amenities provide the highest level of quality care and comfort so you feel safe, supported, and serene. Call us today for information: 1-855-483-7800