Family history of depression, how should I take it?

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by Chickpea, Feb 2, 2008.

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  1. Chickpea

    Chickpea Well-Known Member

    Hi... sorry in advance for the length of this... :blink:

    I've been depressed for a long time.... since about 12 and maybe before that too, except too young to really comprehend it. I'm 20 now and I have just found out, about a week ago, that I have a family history of depression. The pieces have sort of come together and now I know that my father has clinical depression, so does his mother and ... from what I can gather.... her father did too. So that is three generations and I've sort of reached the conclusion that it has been passed onto me.

    I don't really know how to feel about it. In some ways I feel better because it seems to made everything make more sense. But then I also think... if both my dad and my grandmother still have depressions then does that mean that I will have this all of my life as well???

    I don't want to be pessimistic... but I also don't want to fool myself. I'd like to be prepared for what the future is going to be like. I thought anyway that this depression will be something I'll just have to deal/cope with throughout my whole life and now knowing its in my family has supported that opinion.

    I have sought 'help'. I'm in therapy right now but I seem to have hit a bit of a wall with it. Even if my self destructive behaviors have reduced, I still feel damn low. And I'm not even sure if it is the counseling or just simply gradual maturity that has done this.

    How should I react? Its making me feel hopeless and I'm not even confident that "catching it early" will make any difference.

    If it is genetic... should I be trying medication? When I went to the doctors I didn't know I had a family history of it. Would that change anything?

    Chickpea x :sad:
  2. Hey - it runs in my family too - several suicides on my father's side were "kept in the closet" - and HE too, as did my older brother - committed suicide. And like you, when I found out there was a history (even before my father and brother's death), I wasn't sure whether to be glad or dismayed by the "Information". I felt strong and "immune" I suppose, for many years, and I was. However I succumbed as well (but there were many concurrant traumas and tragedies involved as well...including PTSD)

    What you have now is Knowledge(!) - a gateway, that was not really available to previous generations! This is not to say there's any "quick fix", like take a pill and be cured. It's often a process of combinations. There is no one-size-fits-all. However, don't let this deter you from investigating and finding what is right for you! (you may have to change your counseling source as well - and this is NOT a BAD thing! Like meds, it's trial and error to find the "right" one, but you have a better chance in expanding your horizons)

    You might try being proactive (it's empowering) and doing your own research - there's SO much available now! (this site alone has so much on the subject - meds and therapy, as well as links). There is also of course your family doctor (but only if you trust him/her, they can be pretty 'dismissive' as my own was/is - as well as a "pill-pusher") - Not to mention discovering resources in your community. (In other words, don't put all your eggs in one basket...)

    Don't be discouraged! You've started on the right track by writing and expressing your fears! You've been dealing with this for a while now... And if your family remains 'oblivious' (as mine was for too many years), know, AGAIN, you are doing this for YOU!
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
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