Monday, February 7, 2011


Can depression be cured? Can it be treated and helped by therapy?

The heavy, negative feelings that defeat energy and hope -- that make the cup of everything in your life seem empty, not full -- that logical, too clear sense that you are stuck, unable to extricate yourself from failure and the blackness, the weight and gravity of the fact that you are doomed -- that is DEPRESSION.

Hey, there's new medical news: There might be a gene for DEPRESSION. DNA provides clues to understanding stuff like DEPRESSION. Your genes aren't destiny. Researchers report that one particular gene may increase the risk of the D-Cup-Is-Empty state of mind, but -- cheer up, you depressive guys -- the gene gets nasty only in combination with an added, non-genetic factor -- a stressful, lousy, life event.

Thus and therefore, the researchers conclude that people with one form, one nasty form of a protein that ferries serotonin (the famous mood-related neurotransmitter), are prone to DEPRESSION when something traumatic happens -- for instance, if you've been diagnosed with a medical illness, or if you're a victim of childhood abuse.

If you've got the nasty, harmful gene, it prevents nerve cells in your brain from reabsorbing serotonin, and that is what leads to those feelings of sadness, that negative doomed mood, and makes it very hard for you to recover emotionally from a crisis, and get out of the deadly doldrums.

Don't start cheering just yet. Yes, new medical news confirms that you need Serotonin when you're stressed, (some doctors questioned that). The new news says maybe, possibly, perhaps, this can be fixed by Epigeneticists working on the "Epi" (upper part of a gene). You can start cheering when gene fixers announce a pill that'll fix the nasty protein -- get it back to ferrying serotonin.

I hope they hurry up and do it soon. Before the Repubs get seriously down and dirty on destroying Obama Health Care.


Linda Phillips said...

Who knows? I suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or winter light deprivation. I use a special light box for this on dark days. I've had it for as long as I can remember.

I don't know the statistics, but in countries that have the longest and darkest days they also have the highest suicide rates.

I also have chemical depression. It may be inherited, as my father had it also. It has nothing to do with my actual state of mind at all. It simply happens and for years I have taken a mild antidepressant which does the trick.

I am sure that it has to do with brain chemicals. Why else would I suddenly feel unhappy for no apparent reason? My antidepressants work wonders and I am HAPPY!

Years ago it was a stigma to admit these things, but today so many people have come out of the shadows and admitted to this. I know I am not "crazy", I just have some kind of mild chemical imbalance and the mild meds that I take daily, keep it under control.

Terry said...

I think depression is over-diagnosed. I'm sure there are plenty of people who are clinically depressed. However, being occasionally unhappy or sad is not depression. There are some books on the subject I'd like to read, such as "Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry Medicated a Nation" and "The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow into Depressive Disorder" and "Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness."