Clinical depression is known to impact the lives of one out of every six people in their lifetime. But the sad reality is that the medical community still does not entirely understand exactly what causes depression to occur in one person and not in another.
Yes, we do know that depression is hereditary.
Depression can often be found to run throughout the generations of the same family invading the DNA molecules which make up a particular familys genes. This causes the family members to be more susceptible to depression.
However, there is another school of thought that says perhaps the real reason we see depression run in families is that it is also environmental in that it all depends on how the children are raised. If they see the affects of depression encroaching on the lives of their family and they see the results then they will learn to deal with life the very same way.
Even though we are quite clear that depression runs in families, depression is also seen in those without any family history. Stress resulting from a variety of issues, trauma, or even prescription medications or illegal drugs have all been known to cause depression.
Riding the ups and downs of depression can leave you even more exhausted that the last wave of depression you faced. Depression is known to run in cycles. You may feel completely fine one day and the next day you may be completely and utterly unable to get yourself out of the bed and out of your night clothes. The dramatic ranges of emotions are well documented in cases of depression.
Many healthcare providers and scientist alike believe that many suffering with depression manifest a chemical imbalance of Norepinephrine and Serotonin which are the feel good neurotransmitters found in the central nervous system and in the brain.
These neurotransmitters work to help control feelings of happiness and well being. The neurotransmitter Norepinephrine is thought to be a stress hormone; while Serotonin is thought to control hunger, overall moods, sleep and sexual feelings.
When these chemicals get out of whack they are thought to cause depression.
So if you think about it, when these neurotransmitters are out of balance it only makes sense that the roller coaster ride of depression would result. As these levels of these chemical rises and falls thereto go the emotions and feelings associated with them.
The real question is why do some people experience peaks and valleys with their chemical make up while others seem to be more stable. Again, it begs the question is it really the environment in which you were raised or is it truly the ebb and flow of the neurotransmitters that alter feelings causing the dramatic impact of depression.
Do you mirror your family because that is all you know how to do, it is the only way you know to respond or is it that you are genetically and chemically bound to your family and because of that simply have no choice of being impacted by depression.
We need more research and time to study this issue before there is a definitive answer. What we do know is that regardless of the reason why, we do know that depression tends to run in families and if you have a family member that has dealt with the issue then you should be aware of the possibility that you too could be fighting the same battle one day.
Be aware, seek help early and learn what you can do in order to prevent depression before it takes control of your life.