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10-20-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default Depression being Hereditary

I had this topic come up in a conversation and to put it bluntly I wasn't pleased to hear them say that depression is hereditary. That's a load of crap. People are born with psychologically blank slates and the only reason they are becoming depressed is because you are surrounding your child with it as a parent. Likely because you're a sad, tired, miserable wreck of a parent and you're taking it out on your kids.

I always learned in my psychology courses that children are primarily raised through environmental factors, and saying that I'm being nice and PC, because what I really want to say is that children are raised entirely on environment. Just because you as a parent experienced depression at some point in your life has nothing to do with your children being predisposed to it. Again, biggest load of crap ever.

Children are all born into this world knowing nothing but to cry and shit. They are no more or less likely to become depressed than you once were. At ripe young ages, with a good enough upbringing, even if they were destined to be depressed, it only takes a little bit of great parenting to completely turn this around while they're still so impressionable by raising your kid with confidence, respect, love and care. It's really not that surprising, is it? I don't need science to back this up because it's completely logical.

Telling your children that they're going to be depressed because it's in their family is complete farce. It's okay to feel depressed or sad about something but don't trick your mind into thinking that it's in your genes and you are going to plummet someday. People in our society are doomed if this is our way of thinking about things. Children as they get older have the power to determine who they are going to become but the parent play a vital role in this from the beginning in shaping the child.

I could go on all day but that's enough of my opinion, or "stating my opinion as fact", if you wanna call it that.
What do you guys think?
Prove me wrong if you want.
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10-20-2010   #2 (permalink)
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Nobody is born as a blank slate, and even if depression was hereditary it would just be easier to develop it, given the circumstances obviously.
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10-20-2010   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, I've seen those articles where babies are shown to have unique personalities but this still does not prove that they are guaranteed to be depressed in their future life span. If a parent makes a good impression on their child, then the entire matter would be averted.

It's as simple as reinforcing positive behaviors and repressing the negative behaviors. Letting them dwell on the past, allowing them to bottle things up, constantly nagging and picking on your kids, etc. are all very likely ways to enforce depression on them. Nurturing your kids on your own negativity is also a surefire way to spread the hate and depression like wildfire.

However, some people as parents don't like to admit their weaknesses sometimes.
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10-20-2010   #4 (permalink)
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I too see babies as blank slates as they don't know anything or recall anything till later on.
Then it's all based on what they experience or are exposed to.


After being around babies and more babies who've grown up now, it's quite clear how diverse they are based on the parents and environment.
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10-20-2010   #5 (permalink)
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Heh I'm taking psychology this year too, though we haven't gotten very far yet. But I do know you can't go around claiming people are born with blank slates without some backup, especially since it's one of the popular debates. From genes you can develop similar biological makeup and personality, and if living with your own parents, habits and beliefs. So it's not unreasonable to say that you may go through depression the way a simliar you--your parents-- did.

That's my take on the heredity, but I have a major problem with the way the statement is classifying depression. When things are classified as hereditary, they are things such as dominant hand, physical trait, genetic diseases that often occur at a certain age, and so. Depression is like a seasonal flu that you may go through at a given time and circumstances. It's not programed in your body somewhere to be "activated" at say the age of 16.

Perhaps a better statement would be "The susceptibility of depression is hereditary."

Or, "Personality, a hereditary trait, is a main cause of depression."
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10-20-2010   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Point
But I do know you can't go around claiming people are born with blank slates without some backup, especially since it's one of the popular debates.
I guess I'm going to get burned on this everywhere I go because I just tried to discuss this with someone else with an opposite view and that's exactly what they said... while not citing a single source themselves. This is going to make me rant about playing the "cite your sources or your opinion sucks" card in casual discussion environments because this just bugs me. Don't worry; it's not you, lol.

Depression is a human state of mind. In essence, it's inherited by the human race. Just like the ability to feel pain or sadness in the first place. This isn't fact enough to say that it's passed on genetically. Genes primarily shape physical traits, emotional/psychological traits less so.

Parents can treat their kids poorly behind closed doors and never talk about it. These kinds of behaviors can cause depression in children. I highly doubt that just because myself or my SO felt depression at some point in our lives means that our kids will all be depressed even if we give them the best upbringing possible.
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10-20-2010   #7 (permalink)
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Nature vs. Nurture debate has come to somewhat of a compromise now.

Researchers agree that in most mental disorders (depression, OCD, BPD etc.) both, your genetic make-up and environment, play a role. Genetic make up (heritable but not always) put an individual at a greater risk of developing that particular disorder/disease. However, (again in most cases) environmental factors, such as lifestyle, will act as a trigger. Until the envionmental factors (or some other medical condition) kicks in to actitivate the switch, the person will live a normal life. [inb4whatsnormal?] You can look at the inherited gene or whatever as a silent bomb waiting for the big red button.

Stress (environmental factor) can sometimes cause depression in people. However, those who are genetically predisposed to depression (inherited, bad gene etc) are at a greater risk of developing depression when stress is presented.

Note that developing thyroid can cause depression in some (medical/biological factor). So it's not always an environmental factor that act as a trigger.

What I am saying is that you can't completely brush off the biological perspective. Especially since many of these claims have been backed up by adoption studies, twin studies (Mono-zygotic & Di-zygotic) and family studies. If you really want me to cite my claims, I'll do it. Also don't forget the cognitive perspective....

tl:dr - Nature & Nurture both influence our mental health.

P/S There are no real absolute claims in Abnormal Psychology at the moment.

Last edited by Red; 10-20-2010 at 11:19 PM.
 
10-20-2010   #8 (permalink)
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Depression is like stress. Anyone can get it and it can be treated psychologically. Depression maybe manifested by other disorders. However, depression alone is subject to how a person handles stimuli in their daily life so based on lifestyles and habits, it's more of how people perceive the state of depression.
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10-20-2010   #9 (permalink)
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I don't believe depression is hereditary because, things build up slowly, it's like today in my school-idk if anyone else had this- but we had to wear purple today as a sign of respect towards a group of gay kids that were harassed and bullied then they committed suicide... It builds up, I'm sure they committed suicide because they got depressed, because it's not a one day to another thing. This is something that bluntly has a cause and affects them in there way of thinking,emotionally. When you are depressed.. It's like you feel alone.. You have no one. And it's really a sad thought, You can't say to people that you are born that way.. Things you encounter in life that can scar you forever. Just think of it this way.. You have a cut, cut doesn't get treated the right way.. You keep on letting it get infected and slowly but surely it'll damage you in ways you couldn't imagine. So just think of depression coming from all the emotional scars and no healing.. just letting it sit there and grow deeper.. I hope people do realize depression is caused by your surroundings, your everyday life, the people around you. Or in some cases.. the people who aren't around you :l...
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10-20-2010   #10 (permalink)
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If depression is purely environmental, why do some people develop depression after developing thyroid?

No, not all of them feel 'depressed' because they have a disease. Besides when thyroid is treated, depending on the success of the treatment, the level of depression goes down. Why?
 
10-20-2010   #11 (permalink)
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I forgot to point out that I'm only targeting depression caused by genetics when I say that depression is developed and environmental. In the case of a physical mishap, depending on the disorder or illness in question, the body can release certain hormones or chemicals in the body that can alter their mood. This is related to a physical symptom (inherited or not) in the body directly affecting one's emotional state as opposed to a depression caused by their gene pool. I wouldn't tally that under genetics.
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10-21-2010   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Adun
Prove me wrong if you want.
If this were so easily proven, you wouldn't be upset, now would you?

There is very little that people can say conclusively about the human mind.
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10-21-2010   #13 (permalink)
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Very true.

I added that line because I want to hear what people think from the other side, maybe I'll find something I can relate to or will make me understand more.

Guess it's a futile effort but everyone's opinions are an interesting read.
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10-21-2010   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red
If depression is purely environmental, why do some people develop depression after developing thyroid?

No, not all of them feel 'depressed' because they have a disease. Besides when thyroid is treated, depending on the success of the treatment, the level of depression goes down. Why?
Hmm that is a good question.. And really? You get depression when thyroid is treated... wow my mom has that...... ._....
Also, It could also be mental,(There has been some placebo tests with pills and such, that show how people with just thinking they took a pill start feeling better) I mean if you had a disease.. and you couldn't cure it.. would you get a bit sad? Would you look at things in a less brighter way? Some do have th courage to turn it around and strive even more for things.. but some do just get depressed.. Idk :I Just saying depression.. is something so complicated.. I only know that it helps if you have someone that you can trust in with you there and talk to there.. instead of just what I heard.. anti depression pills? ._. I think a real friend would be more helpful..
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Last edited by AnaSyami; 10-21-2010 at 01:18 AM.
 
10-22-2010   #15 (permalink)
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Anything can contribute to depression, and anything can prevent or save you from it.

And yea hormones play a huge part as well, which is why kids going through puberty and pregnant ladies are more susceptible to depression.

To me depression is just a succession of failures/losses you can't cope.
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10-22-2010   #16 (permalink)
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Depression is like stupidity.

It is not a disease, it's something that YOU assume that you have. There is no need for drugs for depression, because in the end, ultimately, the best cure for MOST mental sickness is another person.

Mental stability starts when you're surrounded by people you know, you're mentally secure, you know they won't be harming you, you're in a state of calmness. When stress and shit in life gets overboard and start to push into this small area, take a break, rest it out before continuing.

Seriously, try it. There is no point trying to push and force your way through. Sometimes, letting someone understand and explain to you or converse with you can be even more relaxing than a holiday.



Therefore, no. Depression is not a disease. It is not a mental sickness, just a state of mind where people under loads of pressure would go into. Medication is usually useless. It's just one of those things doctors do to earn extra cash from you by registering useless drugs that you could probably do better with something else... Like a holiday.

And if it's not a disease, it's not hereditary.



TRUTH: People feeling sad trying to label their sadness on something else, FFS it's just you and not a disease.
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10-24-2010   #17 (permalink)
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It is not a disease, it's something that YOU assume that you have. There is no need for drugs for depression, because in the end, ultimately, the best cure for MOST mental sickness is another person.
You obviously never heard of somebody with unipolar depression, or people who are bipolar. Environmental is not a factor for these people.
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10-24-2010   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vith
You obviously never heard of somebody with unipolar depression, or people who are bipolar. Environmental is not a factor for these people.
Finally someone knows about those!
 

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