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Family Ties: Is Postpartum Depression Hereditary?

Postpartum Depression

Imagine waking up one-day feeling deep sadness for no reason. You know something isn’t quite right. Little do you know, you’re experiencing postpartum depression. A real disorder that can impact new parents.

But is postpartum depression hereditary? What if the genes you have already predisposed you to postpartum depression? Let’s explore this hot topic and determine if it’s part of your DNA.

Read on!

What Is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression is a serious mental health disorder. It can affect women after childbirth or during pregnancy. It’s characterized by feelings of:

  • sadness
  • hopelessness
  • anxiety
  • guilt
  • worthlessness
  • emptiness

Symptoms can appear as early as one or two weeks after childbirth. They can range from mild to severe. Postpartum depression can affect a woman’s ability to care for her baby. It can also be emotionally and physically draining for both mother and baby.

Could Heredity Influence the Development of Postpartum Depression?

A mother’s genetics can be a predictor and risk factor for experiencing PPD. This is because certain genetic variations can increase the risk of it occurring. If one or more family members have mental health issues, the potential for postpartum depression or mood swings could increase.

Heredity influences symptoms, such as the duration of episodes, genetic makeup, and even the triggers that cause the episodes.

There is still much to be learned about the relationship between genetics and postpartum depression. But it is clear that family history and genetic makeup can affect its development.

Other Risk Factors for Postpartum Depression

Genetic predisposition is just one of the other risk factors for postpartum depression. Other risk factors include the following:

History of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Interestingly, research has also suggested that a history of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) may be one cause of postpartum depression. PMDD is characterized by changes in mood. This ranges from general irritability or sadness to intense depression and anxiety.

The association between PMDD and PPD may increase the likelihood that one or both conditions could be hereditary. Clinicians should assess a woman’s family history of PMDD or other mental health disorders when diagnosing PPD.

Life Stress

Stressful life events can cause women to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and emotionally drained. This is particularly true when the woman is already predisposed to depression or has a history of depression.

Life stress can manifest itself in many ways, ranging from work or financial pressures to conflicts in relationships. To overcome this, you can seek out depression help found here for professional assistance.

Lack of Social Support

For many women, the transition into motherhood is sudden, overwhelming, and confusing. This leaves them feeling alone and unsupported.

It is during this time that many new mothers rely heavily on their support networks. This includes friends, family, and partners for comfort and reassurance. When these networks are unavailable or inadequate, an increased risk of postpartum depression can result.

Learning If Is Postpartum Depression Hereditary

So, is postpartum depression hereditary? In conclusion, family ties can significantly influence a person’s risk for postpartum depression. Sharing opinions and experiences is a great way to manage fear around this issue.

If you think it might be something you’re facing, seek out medical help to learn how best to help yourself. By being proactive, you can get the support you need. So, consult with a professional today!

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