Depression may occur due to hereditary or environmental factors — or both. If you understand the similarities and differences between hereditary depression and environmental depression, you can discover the best way to treat your depression symptoms.
What Is Hereditary Depression?
Hereditary depression refers to depression that may be linked to genetics. Some scientists believe up to 40% of people dealing with depression can trace their symptoms to a genetic link. Additionally, research shows that people with a family history of depression are more prone than others to depression symptoms.
There may also be a link between serotonin, a feel-good chemical in the brain, and hereditary depression. Serotonin promotes communication between brain neurons, and a serotonin imbalance sometimes causes mood disorders. Furthermore, some researchers have speculated that long and short serotonin transporter genes may trigger hereditary depression.
Gender may be a factor in hereditary depression, too. In one study, researchers found women had a 42% chance of experiencing hereditary depression symptoms, compared to 29% for men.
Meanwhile, a child who sees his or her parent struggling with depression may be more susceptible than others to hereditary depression. A child often mimics a parent’s behaviors. If a parent displays depression symptoms, his or her child may ultimately do the same.
What Is Environmental Depression?
There are many environmental factors that may lead to anxiety, stress, and other depression symptoms. These factors include:
- Food additives and preservatives
- Drugs and hormones
- Genetically modified foods
- Noise pollution
- Natural disasters or other catastrophic events
Environmental depression is sometimes controllable. For instance, consuming foods loaded with food additives and preservatives may make it tough for a person to maintain a healthy diet — and contribute to depression symptoms. Removing these foods from a diet may help an individual combat his or her environmental depression symptoms.
How Are Hereditary and Environmental Depression Treated?
The best depression treatment varies based on whether you are dealing with hereditary or environmental depression, along with other factors. There is no shortage of depression treatments, either.
Common depression treatment options include:
1. Antidepressant Medications
A doctor may prescribe an antidepressant medication to help you alleviate your depression symptoms. Antidepressants include:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
A doctor performs a comprehensive patient evaluation before he or she prescribes an antidepressant. If a doctor believes a patient is a good candidate for an antidepressant, he or she then develops a treatment plan for this individual. Over time, a doctor and patient will work together to ensure an antidepressant delivers the desired results. Or, if an antidepressant causes intolerable side effects or is ineffective, a doctor and patient can pursue alternative depression treatment options.
Psychotherapy involves discussing depression symptoms with a mental health professional. It often helps depression patients deal with a variety of issues, including:
- Difficulties associated with a current or past crisis
- Behaviors and thought patterns that trigger depression symptoms
- Low self-esteem
- Feelings of helplessness, loneliness, guilt, and shame
- Inability to engage with family members and friends in social settings
In some cases, psychotherapy helps depression patients identify the cause of depression symptoms. It may also be used in combination with an antidepressant or other depression treatments.
3. Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (dTMS) Therapy
dTMS therapy is a revolutionary treatment shown to help address several types of depression, including:
- Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): An episodic form of depression, MDD lasts at least two weeks and may include a single episode or multiple events.
- Persistent Depressive Disorder: This form of depression is ongoing and varies in terms of severity.
- Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD): TRD is notoriously difficult to manage, and patients with this disorder have tried many different medications and treatments in conjunction with therapy, and still have not experienced significant symptom relief.
If you undergo dTMS for depression therapy, magnetic pulses are sent to your brain to treat your depression symptoms. dTMS stimulates neural activity to help reduce depression symptoms. To date, studies have shown over 40% of patients who underwent dTMS experienced no depression symptoms after treatment.
A typical dTMS therapy program requires five sessions per week over the course of six weeks, with each session lasting 20 minutes. Each session is usually completed at a doctor’s office, and upon completion, a patient can resume his or her everyday activities.
Which Treatment Is the Best Option to Address Hereditary and Environmental Depression?
If you are dealing with hereditary or environmental depression, it is important to remember that you are not alone. For instance, MDD affects approximately 17.3 million U.S. adults — or roughly 7.1% of U.S. adults — but often goes unaddressed. Fortunately, by meeting with a doctor, you can take the first step to treat your hereditary or environmental depression symptoms.
In addition to meeting with a doctor, the Achieve TMS team is happy to help you address your depression symptoms. We work closely with patients to understand their depression symptoms and determine if dTMS therapy can deliver long-lasting results. Plus, we employ professional, caring staff who do everything possible to ensure our patients receive the support they need to overcome their depression symptoms.
Find out if dTMS therapy is right for you — schedule a dTMS therapy consultation with Achieve TMS. To set up a dTMS therapy consultation, please call or text us today at 877-296-4968.