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Are Depression and Addiction Hereditary?

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Depression and addiction can sometimes be genetically-influenced. While not everyone who suffers from depression and addiction had to have a family history and not everyone with a family history will develop depression and addiction, people who do have a family history are faced with a significantly higher risk of developing them.

The Genetic Link for Depression and Addiction

Addiction has been shown to have a genetic link, as the children of clients of addiction face significantly greater risks of becoming addicted to substances themselves. This is outside of factors for environmental influences. Depression’s genetic connection is linked to a specific gene called the serotonin link. This does not mean that every child of a client of depression will develop the disorder, but that there is a much higher chance of it occurring.

Having a family history can serve as a source of encouragement to learn more about depression and addiction as well as how to avoid this diagnosis.

A Common Dual Diagnosis

Depression and addiction is one of the most common dual diagnoses. A dual diagnosis is when a client of addiction has been diagnosed with addiction and at least one accompanying mental health disorder. Dual diagnosis treatment is necessary for a successful recovery and successful symptom management because it treats both depression and addiction at the same time. Depression left untreated may easily result in a relapse and addiction left untreated may quickly lead to the deterioration of mental health.

Steps to Prevent Depression and Addiction

Family history does not guarantee you will have depression and addiction in the future but it does mean that you need to take the necessary precautions for prevention. Your increased risk is critically influenced by your environment and the decisions you make. Do your part to try to avoid depression and addiction with these tips.

  • Prevent underage drinking.
  • Do not abuse drugs.
  • As an adult, drink moderately or avoid alcohol entirely.
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle, complete with a healthy diet, exercise and sufficient time for rest and relaxation.
  • Find healthy ways to cope with stress and difficult emotions.
See also  10 Most Common High Risk Situations for Ex-Addicts

A genetic connection does not have to seal your fate. While these preventative steps cannot ensure that you will not develop depression and addiction, you can make a big difference and significantly lower your odds for the development of this diagnosis. You have the power to do your part to break the cycle.

If you or someone you love is having problems with alcohol abuse, chemical dependency or addiction, recovery from a drug abuse program, like the one at Destination Hope, may be the answer.  Remember that recovery from addiction and alcohol abuse treatment means learning how to cope with intensely emotional situations, and identifying when you need help and support.  Treatment for addiction relapse, counseling, and aftercare can help you do this, so please call us today. Destination Hope is a full-service addiction and health treatment facility in Florida for men and women who suffer from substance abuse and behavioral health issues.

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