Does A Family History Of Depression Increase The Risk For My Developing Depression?

Question: Does a family history of depression increase the risk for my developing depression?

Answer: A family history of depression is the strongest risk factor for depression. In a study that we've been doing, we see depression in three generations. We've looked at the grandparents -- we started there -- then we followed their children, and we're now looking at their grandchildren. And you see a very strong, what we call family loading.

That doesn't mean that everybody gets depressed -- some people escape it -- and sometimes you see depression where there's no family history. But if you look at it overall, a family history of depression is a very strong predictor of depression in an individual.

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