Transcript

Dr Matthew Cullen, Psychiatrist, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney

Can depression be inherited? A really good question, and of course, like all psychological or psychiatric problems, there is inherited or genetic factors.

Depression really at its core has two causative elements.

One, environment, the stressors that that individual could be confronting: financial, work, relationship. They’re all stressors that we’ve encountered, and of course if all of us have enough pressure or stress, that can contribute and indeed cause depression.

Those people who have a genetic vulnerability, those people who have family members who have depression, tend to have a greater propensity, tend to have a greater risk, to become depressed when they’re under enough psychological stress.

Mental health helplines

If you or someone you know is feeling distressed and/or having suicidal thoughts, see your doctor, phone one of these helplines or click on the links below for online web chat counselling or support. Call 000 if life is in danger.

Lifeline (24 hours) 13 11 14
Kids Helpline (for young people aged 5 to 25 years) 1800 55 1800
Beyond Blue Support Service (24 hours) 1300 22 4636
MensLine Australia (24 hours) 1300 78 99 78
SANE Helpline – mental illness information, support and referral 1800 187 263
Suicide Call Back Service (24 hours) – free counselling support 1300 659 467

Last Reviewed: 15/04/2020

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