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How is depression /anxiety inherited? genetic or circumstantial?

(8 Posts)
Orangeanddemons Thu 03-Dec-15 19:17:44

I have suffered anxiety and depression all my adult life, usually as a reaction to some sort of loss. I'm on ads for the rest of my life, but I'm fine and ok with that. I have never ever revealed or shown any of this to my ds.

My ds is 21. He was a very happy placid child, unusually so. But he reacts to relationship break ups badly. He is currently depressed and has just started fluoxetine after a nasty break up. He's in a bit of a mess😰

He has never known I suffer from depression u till now, and as it's usually managed he couldn't really pick up on it. But here we's come full circle. How has he turned out like this, when I did everything I could to shield and protect him from my problems?

DebussyHead Thu 03-Dec-15 22:47:56

I think there may be a genetic predisposition. My brother, sister and I have all suffered from depression and anxiety at different times in our lives and with differing triggers. My grandmother suffered too although never admitted this (it was revealed in diaries after her death). 1 in 4 people apparently experience mental health issue at some point so statistically it's not that unusual. Please don't feel guilty, share your experience to let him know he is not alone. I only recently experienced anxiety and depression and going on ADs was a big deal but other people sharing their story has made it less isolating.
I hope your son recovers soon.

RandomMess Thu 03-Dec-15 22:56:43

I think some of how to respond to circumstances and emotional responses is learned and absorbed by the limbic brain from birth so when we have parents or other primary care givers who suffer with these things we pick them up at a very subtle over. When our caregivers laugh, cry, don't cry, withdraw emotionally that kind of thing.

Unfortunately I think we pass on all sorts of things at a very subconscious level to our DC, they are not fooled however good a mask we put on - or limbic brains are perceptive beyond our rational comprehension and somehow we learn responses to life that perhaps aren't always the "healthiest"

I hope I haven't made you feel bad!! I have very severe depression and I can see although my DC are much more balanced than I was as their ages that they are vulnerable to depression/anxiety. I also recognise that my Mum probably had depression - certainly both my parents are both emotionally very closed people.

Orangeanddemons Fri 04-Dec-15 07:44:18

Dr Google has told me it appears to be related to the serotonin gene. There are two carriers on the gene. If the are both long you are less likely to get it, if you have one long and one short, then it is less efficient at carrying serotonin, so I obviously have the short ones😔

There is no way ds knew I was depressed. I've been on anti d's nearly all my adult life to manage it. I've had flare ups but they were only very short term things.

tellmeofthetime Fri 04-Dec-15 19:14:23

It's openly and sometimes even light heartedly talked about amongst my DC. My mother was always, throughout my childhood, depressed, anxious, in bed 'poorly', going to the doctors, doctors coming to the house, and at times full on 'crazy'. I have suffered from episodes of depression/anxiety for 20 years, she is completely unaware, my cousins ( her nieces) are the same, one being hospitalised twice, they say 'it runs in the family'.
Of my three daughters, one has been on ads for years, another struggles terribly with anxiety. Of my two sons, one gets anxious in social situations, cannot contemplate going on holiday far from home and gets easily overwhelmed with life, but ironically states 'all the women in this family are nuts'

RandomMess Sat 05-Dec-15 11:06:45

I think it can be very enlightening to read up about codependent relationships. Co-dependency is learnt behaviour and it often keeps you in relationships that aren't "healthy" for you friends and extended family as much as partner - those healthy relationships are highly likely to be a trigger/source of depression and anxiety.

I think for very few it's a pure chemical brain issues and for very few it's purely circumstances. For most I think it's a combination of the two as you inherit your genes you also inherit the patterns of how to live which can equally have "faulty" elements.

Orangeanddemons Sat 05-Dec-15 18:41:22

I've looked up co dependency. I don't think it's that.

greenfolder Wed 09-Dec-15 06:40:37

I am pretty sure it is a factor in inheritance. My ddad suffered with manic depression his entire life. I haven't but one dd has anxiety and depression the other is bi polar.

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