Is it genetic? Is it triggered?

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Really Trying
New Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 6/14/2007 1:29 AM (GMT -6)   
I have read some things about depression but not researched it to a full understanding.
Question #1:  Is it genetic?  I have read some posts here and some of you have said you believe it is genetic.  My husband is dealing with depression and I have been trying to get him to get some professional help for almost three years now.  We have been married for almost 4 years and I am learning that there are more people in his family who are dealing with some different levels of depression.
His mom had a very serious bout of anxiety and depression two years ago.  She finally went to a doctor and then a counselor who put her on anti-anxiety and anti-depressants (sorry, I am not familiar with all the medications so I am not sure which ones).
His uncle (mom's side) is also very depressed but I think for most of his life.  (versus my husband's mom who seems to have occassional bouts of anxiety/depression)  I think it was more chronic because his grown children have thus suffered and are unfortunately not in very good states in their adult life (one in unstable marriage and other with drug habits).
One of his cousins is also on some type of medication, but I am not sure what kind.
So, is it genetic?  Do I need to be concerned about our daugher?  Will she also be depressed because of genetics or because she has sensed this from her father and is learning her own behavioral patterns from his state?
Question #2:  Is it triggered?  In reading some posts, it seems that some of you remember the happy times before depression hit you.  I want to believe that my husband also had some happy times in his life so that he can be reminded that he was happy and can be happy.  Has it been shown that events (job loss, accident, etc) cause this or is this triggered by a hormonal/chemical inbalance in the body?
I am trying to seriously understand my husband's condition and I am trying to find out what will work to encourage him to get professional help.  It seems that most of you post that once a successful combination is found that you do feel better.
I am trying very hard to be there for him as a friend, even though at times as his wife I am so angry with him because he will not get professional help.
Thanks for your help!

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 6/14/2007 1:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Join the chats, Annie

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 6/14/2007 2:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mia,
I can try to give you an answer to both questions. So here goes...
Question 1: Is Depression genetic?
The real truth is that nobody knows for certain whether it is genetic, environmental or (most likely) a mix of both. Children who have parents that have suffered with depression are more likely to suffer from depression but this is still not guaranteed. Think of getting depression as rolling a 6 on a dice. If your parents have depression, there are 2 6's and only 1 if they dont. (I know thats very simplified, but its the best think I can think of)
Question 2: Is there a trigger for depression?
Again, its a grey answer. Sometimes there is and sometimes there isnt. Your belief's play a part in answering the question I think. For the most part there is usually a point (Such as a family death, divorce, job loss etc...) at which the depression "makes itself known". For some people though, they can't (and never do) manage to define a single point / event. Almost certainly though, they will have happy memories prior. Its just that sometimes the person has trouble getting at them.
I hope this has helped you. I know its not black and white science but unfortunately, so many psychological disorders are shades of grey 
All the best
Everyone has a guardian angel. They help pick you up when you fall, comfort you through your times of need and help you appreciate the times when things are going well.
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