Hello and welcome back to Depression Expert Answers. I'm your host Amy Alpine and joining me in the studio today is of America's top psychiatrists, Dr. Green.
Dr. Green thank you so much for being here.
Thank you for having me.
We're answering questions today from WebMD's message exchange board, and so I just wanted to read you a question one of our members has written in:
"My mom has depression, so what are the chances that I have it and don't even know it?"
The causes of depression are many.
For some individuals they can trace back generations of family members with a history of institutionalization, suicide, self-medicating with alcohol or drugs that lend clues
that it may have been what modern day health professionals call major depression, but it's not a requirement. There are others that have no family history.
They cannot trace it back at all, and many of them with have some of the more severe presentations of depression. So, there's no guarantee.
And just because your mother has it, does not necessarily mean you're going to have it.
Right Amy. There are biological components, psychological components, social components, as well as environmental components. It's a complicated picture.
There are no guarantees, however it's important to note – someone that has that history of a mother with depression, this is an important time to self-reflect.
You know that you have that vulnerability, so this is the time to take a look within. To see if you, yourself may be suffering.
So the genetic predisposition and some type of traumatic event might trigger it?
So let's keep in mind that the maternal child bond is incredibly important, so a mother that's depressed may not be able to nurture her child in a way that is effective,
that is firing those neurons so that a person actually learns how to attach, learns how to engage in relationships.
Those persons can often have a very negative outlook on life, they might have low self-esteem, they may be prone to pessimism, and all those things we know can lead to depression.
As well as anxiety, could be prone to anxiety.
And so does depression tend to cluster in families?
Depression does tend to cluster in families as do responses to treatment,
so, often times an individual will have some sort of response and we're fairly confident that another individual with have a similar response.
So we anxiously await the outcomes of some really great genetic studies that are looking to identify exactly which genes are associated with this family tree or this genetic form of depression.
So what can you offer to this person so that they can do some preventative care for themselves?
Well first of all acknowledging that this is the history, that this is what's going on – and really encouraging them to seek a third party. Get some professional help,
get someone to journey with them through the process and maybe help identify some patterns in their behavior, and patterns in their thinking,
and really just to give them an objective opinion of what is going on.
That support, so important.
Well Dr. Green, thank you so much for being here, and we'll see you back soon on Depression Expert Answers.