Fixed Cross wrote:I'm not so sure that depression is genetically determined. In fact I am pretty sure it isn't. I would say it is almost purely in circumstance, context. Firstly, the inability to self-value in the terms available in ones surrounding, as in the example of your grandmother, and apparently you, as so many others in this discouraging time; secondly, the actual example of depression in the available terms, environment -- this should amount in a strong impetus to be depressed and want to get out.
Morality is often the thing that keeps us from getting out in another way than killing ourselves or imploding into a psychosis of some sort. It is funny how that works. We are more afraid to inflict minor immoralities or expose ourselves to uncertain conditions that would liberate us from the restricting values around us (your grandmothers case) than we are to commit the far greater "crime" (inflict greater suffering) of suicide. I guess this has to do with victim mentality - suicide allows us to feel that we are the victim, "pure" somehow, and at the same time exert will to power over those we leave behind.
Bi-polar, SAD and Schizophrenia (symptoms often include depression) are genetic or at least have genetic correlations, however its also true that schizophrenia occurs more in people with a traumatic history than those who don't. It's complex there is certainly a genetic correlation, but no gene that says you will become depressive, like in heart disease, certain genes make you more at risk from it, same with certain mood disorders. You have to be careful to separate out correlation and cause.
For example if I moved to the tropics I could stop taking SSRIs in the winter, this certainly means there is no psychological component that solely drives my depression, but there certainly is a predisposition to hyper sensitivity to light in the visual cortex and other systems that regulate circadian rythmns that make it more likely I will have developed SAD. SAD literally does not exist below a certain latitude, its prevelance increases as you move north, with a discrepency in countries that have snow on the ground for much of the winter (higher light levels due to surface albedo). Points clearly to a genetic predisposition and physiological cause. Why is Seratonin re-uptake inhibition effective? Probably because seratonin is a break down product of melatonin which is created by the skin with exposure to sunlight, so correct use of SSRIs will be effective, melatonin injections at mid day in conjunction with light therapy in the morning are more effective still. Therapy is useful only in treating symptoms, and in fact I was advised by my clinical psychologist to just stick to the SSRIs and only book an appointment when I had any issues. I haven't seen him in 8 years, and hope I don't have to.
“I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence.”
Oscar Wilde - probably.