Some psychiatrists come to the conclusion that a patient’s depression is genetic and there’s nothing much they can do about it? What about the thorny issue of nature versus nurture?
They come to the conclusion even brushing aside the fact that some other family members of the patient were also diagnosed with Depression. Depression does run in families, which has led some researchers to speculate that a particular gene is responsible for depression.Even if someone does find an inherited gene that predisposes people to depression, not everyone who has the gene will get the disorder.
At present, we know very little about genetics in relation to mood and behavior. The best guess of researchers is that our genes influence about 50 percent of what we do or feel. It is known that a mother’s neglect early in life can actually change the way genes behave and set a child up for a number of psychiatric illnesses, including bipolar disorder. Presumably the same is true of other forms of abuse as well.
Prof. Charles Nemeroff of Emery University School of Medicine is one of the leading authorities on the neurobiology of depression and is convinced that genes aren’t the whole story and that abuse plays a significant role. He believes that abuse fundamentally alters brain chemistry through the agency of an amino acid neuropeptide called corticotropin-releasing factor or CRF. If you have been abused, your brain produced too much CRF, and you become depressed.
According to Nemeroff, depression is not the only disorder caused by early childhood neglect and/or abuse. These factors, he says, particularly in the presence of a genetic susceptibility, permanently alter the neurons (brain cells) that specialize in CRF, resulting in hyperactivity (ADD/ADHD) and PTSD as well as depression.
Meaning that even if you have a family history of depression or anxiety, you will probably not become a victim of depression unless something seriously untoward happens in your childhood to trigger it.
(extracted from) Creating Optimism: A Proven, 7-Step Program for Overcoming Depression, Based on the popular Uplift program, written by Bob Murray Ph. D., and Alicia Fortinberry, published by Mcgraw-Hill