Q: Is depression hereditary or genetic?
A: Scientists have found that a specific chromosome, which can be passed on, may be a potential risk factor in the development of depression. A team of British researchers found that a region on chromosome 3, called 3p25-26, is linked to severe recurrent depression. Nevertheless, genetics is not the only risk factor for depression, as it may have a variety of causes.
Q: Can birth control pills cause depression?
A: The artificial hormones in birth control pills may severely affect the intricate balance of dopamine, serotonin, GABA and norepinephrine in your brain, which can have an effect on your mood.1 In fact, in a 2016 study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, researchers found that participants who took birth control pills had a 40 percent increased risk of depression after six months, compared to those who did not.2
Q: Is rehab necessary to treat depression?
A: For severe cases, depressed individuals may seek help from rehabilitation facilities or depression treatment centers to help them overcome this ailment. There are also natural methods and lifestyle strategies that may help treat depression.
Q: Is there a link between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression?
A: A study conducted by University of Chicago researchers found that adolescents who had ADHD during their childhood (between 4 to 6 years old) have a 10 times higher risk of developing depression than those without ADHD.3 However, remember that ADHD may be misdiagnosed, as children who exhibit ADHD-like behavior may actually be displaying actions that are still within the confines of normal childhood behavior.
Q: Are exercise and outdoor activities necessary to cure depression?
A: Yes. In fact, exercise is one of the most effective depression treatment and prevention strategies there is. A study found that young adults who did 30-minute aerobic workouts three to five times a week had reduced their depressive symptoms by half.4
Q: How can you get over depression without resorting to antidepressants?
A: Take note that antidepressants are not as effective as they are marketed to be, and may actually increase a person's risk for suicide and other side effects. Adapting certain lifestyle tweaks, such as getting enough sun exposure or addressing nutritional deficiencies, may be more helpful in bringing your mood and mental health back to optimal condition. For more useful tips on how to cure or fight depression, check out the Treatment page.
Q: How can you best help someone with depression?
A: If you have a friend or family member who is struggling with depression, one of the most helpful things you can do is to help guide them toward healthier eating and lifestyle habits, as these can be particularly difficult to maintain for people who are harboring negative feelings. Friendships are also a significant factor in successful recuperation from depression, so make it a point to maintain your close relationship with the person.