Large study links depression to genetic changes

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-47118009

This should be good news in a way – people should not blame themselves for depression. Personal opinion: anyone with depression (1 of every 6 persons) should get professional help.

(I checked the link, above, and it is working, for me.)

I can imagine this, even though I have no training in psychology. One of my daughters is a psych NP and deals with brain chemistry primarily, though the psychology part is largely “unlearning inappropriate coping mechanisms”. That latter thing is interesting. The coping mechanisms can be helpful when one is heavily beset by depression, but can become destructive if one’s brain chemistry is corrected so that one no longer “has to cope”.

One wonders just a little about the degree, if any, to which any of this is actually a “survival strategy”. Most human traits are. I recall once talking to my mother about my father’s people after my father’s death. He and his people were all very much given to anxiety and many of them had alcohol problems. My mother expressed her curiosity as to why so many of them would be that way.

Half of the Irish had come from County Mayo, on the west coast of Ireland. Vikings often landed there long ago and were sometimes so pervasive they created the coloration of “white Irish”. But they were also rapacious killers. I tossed off a comment that perhaps their anxiety was a “survival strategy”. Hear unusual splashing on the sea at night and you would be instantly put in terror and would run away to some hidden glen. Generation after generation, they lived with that and the Vikings got all the careless ones.

Anyway, and while I was more than half joking, I’m not entirely sure that even depression isn’t a survival strategy of some sort, in some context, especially if combined with some other condition like mania or paranoia. It could be a survival trait that has outlived its usefulness.

That was interesting. Thank you for the article. Also there are options for people who may not be able to afford therapy but need it. Universities with therapy programs tend to offer their services on a sliding scale.

Here is an article with helpful suggestions: Here’s What To Do If You Can’t Afford Therapy

Perhaps I have been too easily persuaded that most mental health problems are chemical in nature and can be relieved by medication far more than by psych therapy. As I mentioned above, my understanding is that medication is almost always the answer, but the psychologist part is to “unlearn” what have now become unsuccessful coping strategies. So, for the most part, medication is the big part of the resolution.

But that’s not to say those meds are cheap. Some are, but some are breathtakingly expensive. My daughter told me of a combination of two that really do the job on some form of mental illness or other, but the two together cost $20,000/month. Without Medicaid, Medicare or really good insurance, nobody can afford that. But, she said, that’s the “optimal” treatment. Somewhat less successful meds for that condition are far less expensive.

I’m a big fan of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It challenged me to look at things differently.

Like goals. We have a goal in every social situation, whether we’re aware of that goal or not. So, if you know you’re going into a stressful situation, think about your goals first (even pray about them). Know what you want and don’t let yourself be derailed by the other person. I learned a lot, like how to look at what motivates my actions. It was a very helpful.

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