What’s depression genetics?
The word depression has become a common descriptor used to describe people with depressive symptoms.
The term itself is an acronym for “depression, major depressive disorder, and major depressive episode”, but the scientific and medical community is still trying to sort out exactly what that means.
Many experts believe the word refers to a person who experiences an overwhelming level of negative emotions and a heightened sense of fear.
Depression is not a disease.
“We can think of depression as a spectrum of symptoms and it’s a spectrum that’s not necessarily related to illness,” says psychiatrist and clinical psychologist Steven Katz.
There are four main types of depression: Major depressive disorder (MDD), major depressive episodes, depressive episodes without a history of MDD, and non-specific depressive disorder.
MDD can cause a range of symptoms, including feeling overwhelmed and depressed, and depression-like symptoms.
Depression episodes without MDD can occur without a medical diagnosis, such as during a psychotic episode or in a relationship.
While depression is not contagious, it can be a chronic and disabling condition that affects a person’s ability to function.
Symptoms may worsen over time, making it more difficult to function normally.
Non-specific depression can occur in a person with no history of major depressive disorders.
This is more common among people with multiple medical conditions.
It is characterized by symptoms such as feelings of irritability, sadness, and loss of interest in activities and social activities.
A person with a diagnosis of MDd or non-MDd depression may not feel the same way about others that they do about themselves, says Katz.
The disorder is a genetic predisposition and a person can inherit the genes that predispose them to developing depression, according to Dr. Michael Eades, director of the Yale Center for Mental Health Research.
Although people with major depressive symptoms often feel anxious and depressed often, their moods and symptoms can change depending on their genetics, so a person may not experience symptoms that are as severe or lasting as people with MDd, Katz says.
When a person does experience a depressive episode, their brain is activated in a way that allows them to process their emotions and become less anxious.
But there are a number of things that can affect a person in a non-medical setting such as relationships, work, social interactions, and schoolwork.
A person can experience symptoms similar to depression in a number other ways, including feelings of guilt, shame, or guilt and self-blame.
Depression is not the same thing as a disease and it can affect people at all stages of life, but it is a major health concern, says Dr. David M. Freedman, chair of the department of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University.
“If a person has an MDD diagnosis, they are more likely to develop symptoms of depression and are more at risk for developing the disease itself,” he says.
“We see more and more people being diagnosed with depression and we need to know that we can prevent this disease in their lifetime.”
Some of the most common types of non-psychiatric disorders, which include depression, include: depression without a prior diagnosis of major depression (BDD), which includes depression episodes without any history of depression, depression with no prior diagnosis, and a history that is not severe enough to warrant a medical or psychiatric diagnosis, according in a CDC press release.
BDD is characterized as having a depressive history and a nonmedical history of other disorders.
Depression with a prior medical diagnosis may be diagnosed when a person is at high risk of developing depression in the future, Katz explains.
Treatment for depression can include antidepressants and psychotherapy, which may be more effective in people with more severe symptoms.
“For the majority of people who have an MDd diagnosis, treatment for depression is very good,” Katz says, “and it can help people to overcome the symptoms, and it may also help people with depression to live a more meaningful life.”
For more information about depression, you can visit the National Institutes of Health Depression Web site.