You can make changes in your life to reduce your risk of developing depression. Healthy eating and lifestyle habits, and being a positive role model for family members, can help prevent or reduce the development of this illness. Although depression is largely a product of genetics, environmental factors can also play a role. If you have a family member suffering from depression, you may be at increased risk of developing depression as well.
The debate over depression involves the question of whether genetics or environment influence our behavior. In a nutshell, nature refers to our environment, which includes the environment and experiences of childhood, while nurture refers to the genes we inherit from our parents. Regardless of the source, both environmental factors and genetics contribute to our mood, behavior, and overall health. For this reason, studies on genetics and depression are important.
The extent to which genetics and environment affect well-being and depression has yet to be conclusive, it is clear that both influence our mood. Genetic correlations are low in childhood, so it is not clear if environmental factors have a larger impact. In adolescence, genetics play a greater role. At that time, 54% of the correlation between depressive symptoms and well-being is explained by unique environmental effects. This is consistent with the recent genome-wide association study.
A further study has shown that non-shared environmental factors contributed to the co-occurrence of these symptoms. However, these effects were not statistically significant when looking at the co-occurrence of these symptoms in different time periods. The results indicate that genetics and environment play a major role in developing depression, but it is important to remember that there are other factors involved, such as environmental factors, which affect the development of depression.
In contrast, studies of 48 adoptees showed that significant childhood stress was a significant risk factor for depression. These stressors created molecular scars in the brain that impair its function and create a chronic sensitivity to stress. Once established, this increased sensitivity increases the impact of additional stressful events on the individual. This, in turn, increases the risk of developing depression as an adult. As a result, genetic and environmental influences are significantly related to the duration and outcome of depressive disorders.
The study also showed that genetic and environmental risk factors are associated with distinct depression trajectories, with the childhood-persistent trajectory being the highest priority. Children and adolescents with this trajectory should be targeted for early intervention. It also showed specific associations with longitudinal depression symptoms. This suggests that the childhood-persistent trajectory is the most important to target for prevention strategies. In the long run, these findings may lead to improved strategies for treating depression.
Although there is no conclusive evidence, studies have suggested that there may be a genetic component that contributes to depression. The brain’s serotonin levels are directly related to depression. The genetics behind depression are complicated, but the good news is that there are many ways to manage the symptoms and improve your quality of life. The question remains, however, is: Which is more important, the environment or genetics?