Ranked among the top contributors to the global burden of disease, depression is a disorder with a multitude of environmental as well as genetic risk factors and affects more than 10% of the population. Symptoms of depression include but are not limited to low energy, pessimistic thoughts, and body pain.
Many people with depression wonder why they struggle to find happiness or even get out of bed when the people around them seem just fine. It can be exhausting and demoralizing to wonder why depression is happening.
Learning that you have a depression genetic predisposition can be empowering and freeing. A DNA test for depression may reveal that you are predisposed to the condition. This information can be an important part of a treatment plan in and of itself.
The test can also help you understand whether occasional sadness and mood swings may be a sign of potential major depression to come. Getting into therapy early and getting the medical treatment you need can make a huge difference when it comes to battling depression. But can you really learn something so important about yourself with genetic testing for depression?
One study found many gene loci have been linked to various depression-related outcomes: three were linked to self-reported well-being (via a quality-of-life questionnaire), two for depressive symptoms, and 11 for neuroticism (which is characterized by when a person has negative feelings such as fear).
In another study, which specifically looks at how both genes and the environment interact in the Japanese population to produce depressive symptoms, it was suggested that when healthy Japanese workers had a specific gene variant and had been exposed to stressful life events, they were at risk of having depressive symptoms. This seems to tell us that it is important to think about both your environmental stressors and your genotype when it comes to depression.
This aspect of a depression genetic predisposition is fascinating. It suggests that people with this gene variant who can avoid highly stressful life events may never struggle from depression, whereas if they are exposed to a stressful event, they may develop depression.
Knowing that you have such a gene may cause you to make decisions to avoid extremely stressful events as much as possible. If you do find that a stressful event has triggered such a gene to turn on, you can better understand your own feelings and emotional state as resulting from the stressful event on a genetic level.
Whether you struggle with depression or not, genetic testing for depression can reveal valuable information about yourself. Learning that you have a depression genetic predisposition can help you plan your life to avoid stressful events or help you to explain the depression that you are experiencing. Having mild signs of depression confirmed by genetic testing can enable you to seek out help before symptoms get worse.
Learn more about these fascinating studies by following the links below:
What is your genetic predisposition for depression? Check Genomelink now!