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has suicide got to do with genetics/family history?

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by LILICHIPIE, Jan 10, 2008.

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    LILICHIPIE Well-Known Member

    do u believe in genes and family history affecting suicide?
    Ive been reading a great book about how resolving your psychological issues by investing geneology ( unwanted child, suicides in family, deaths or sad events that occur on the same dates...) is helpful.

    Ive investigated my family as its well known that bipolar issues can be genetic.
    my grand pa was suffering from manic depression
    my 2 great grand fathers comitted suicide ( by the method I ve been comtemplating.. how weird but that might be coincidence)
    My mom is bipolar but will never admit it.

    what do u think about genetics and suicide issues? i know suicide is very personal and cant be transmitted lol but i tend to think, like in this book, that people are more at risk because of their family history background ( family secrets that can be transmitted, suicides in the family that were hidden or not overcome by our ancestors...).
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2008
  2. iwillbeok

    iwillbeok Active Member

    I certainly can understand and believe that suicidal tendencies are genetic.

    Alcoholism is, so why wouldn't suicide be?
  3. Tea

    Tea New Member


    This is actually a good question.

    Only in the last 3 yrs did I understand my depression. When I look back, I can remember when I was 8yrs old crying for no reason at all. I know now, that I was depressed then. But thing is, I would like to know if this was brought on by curcumstance, or hereditary.
    I know when mum gets depressed, and she has a knack for making me and my siblings feel guilty, and covet what her neighbours have as possessions.
    So, is it genetic? or curcumstance?

    Thank you LILICHIPIE for posting your question...


    LILICHIPIE Well-Known Member

    Im sure depression has to do with genetics. but what makes me surprised is to see through this book how events ( from signifcant to big one such as recurrence of asthma in families where some have battled world war I, or same deaths at same ages or same dates) can repeat themselves.
    we all have our will but i think investigasting our ancestors past help. Did you ask your parents about that 8 year old episode?
    Once more, ive found a very interesting article and wanted to share it with u as u seemed interested in the topic.

    hugs :)

    February 14, 2007
    Science Daily

    Study Closes In On Genes That May Predispose Some People To Severe Depression

    Some people appear to be genetically predisposed to developing severe depression, but researchers have yet to pin down the genes responsible. Now, a specific region rife with promise has been located on one chromosome by a consortium of researchers working under Douglas Levinson, MD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

    "This finding has a very good chance of leading to a discovery of a gene that could yield important information about why some people develop depression," said Levinson. If problematic genetic variations could be identified, it would open the door to a whole new world of investigation, and eventually, treatment possibilities. The team's results are reported in two papers that will be published in the February issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

    Levinson's group, comprising researchers from six universities, achieved this breakthrough by studying 650 families in which at least two members suffered from repeated bouts of severe depression that began in childhood or early adult life. The first of the studies was a genome-wide scan that looked for evidence of genetic "linkage" within families between depression and DNA markers on the various chromosomes. The linkage study identified regions worthy of more intensive examination.

    The second study was a more detailed look at the most suspicious of these regions, located on chromosome 15. Levinson said the team studied six DNA markers in this region in the first study, and an additional 88 in the second. "We found highly significant evidence for linkage to depression in this particular part of chromosome 15," he said. "This is one of the strongest genetic linkage findings for depression so far."

    "It's an important paper," said Peter McGuffin, MD, dean of the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College in London, who was not involved in the study. McGuffin wrote a commentary on the research that appears in the same issue. "This is one of the first big linkage studies on the genetics of depression."

    Researchers learned that depression is influenced by genetics by studying patterns of depression in twins and families. No single gene is thought responsible for determining the risk for developing depression. Instead, multiple genes are probably interacting to create what amounts to a genetic baseline level of risk. On top of that baseline, environmental factors are likely mixed in as well, things such as non-genetic physiological problems or psychological traumas.

    Some 10 to 15 percent of people suffer from severe depression at some point in their lives, and 3 to 5 percent have it more than once. Women are twice as likely to develop depression as men, although the reason is not yet known.

    "We don't think depression is entirely genetic, by any means, but there are important genetic factors," said Levinson. "If we can succeed in finding one or more genes in which there are specific DNA sequence variations that affect one's risk of depression, then we would be able to understand what type of gene is it, what it does in the brain and by what mechanism it could make one more or less predisposed to depression."

    Knowing more about which genes are the major factors causing a predisposition for depression would also help researchers sort out the environmental factors that contribute to depression, Levinson said. And knowing more about either genetic or environmental factors could help in developing more effective therapies to treat depression. "The treatments we have now are lifesavers for some people, but there are others who have only a partial response or no response at all," he said. "Understanding the biology would help the search for better treatments."

    The next phase of the consortium's research is already under way. This phase is an even more detailed look at more than 2,000 individuals to identify specific genes where there are variations that increase the risk of severe depression, including closer study of the suspicious area of chromosome 15.

    The consortium is actively recruiting participants for the current study. Eligible participants must have experienced the onset of their first episode of depression before the age of 31, and must have had at least two depressive episodes. They must also have at least one sibling or parent with a history of depression.

    Both previous studies were funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health, as is the current study.

    Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Stanford University Medical Center.
  5. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member

    There's no precise connection between suicide and depression, as I understand it. There are people who are severely depressed and never consider suicide, and there are also people who commit suicide, or attempt it, who are not at all depressed.

    The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression goes into this issue in great detail, in the chapter on suicide. Most libraries I've been in seem to have copies. I think the best the research he is citing shows a mild correlation, definitely not an overwhelmingly strong one, re: depression and suicide.

    Of course, since the book was published in 2001 there might be new stuff out there that I'm not aware of. The ideal would be adoption studies, especially the ones where identical twins are adopted off. If anyone has any references to studies of that sort on the topic of suicide I'd personally be very interested in reading them.
  6. Shogun

    Shogun Well-Known Member

    One of my grandfather's shot himself in the head with a gun and guess what? That's my method of choice too...
  7. Reki

    Reki Well-Known Member

    Behavorial tendencies do get passed down genetically quite often, actually. My mother comments all the time on how much like her I am in my habits, although we've had very different childhoods and were raised in different countries altogether. It didn't come as too much of a surprise when she mentioned that depression runs rampant in her side of the family, her grandmother had it, her mother had it, her sisters had it, seems it's my turn now, though blaming it all on my family tree would probably be beating around the bush, as I have some issues in my life that I chose not to resolve and am now paying the price for my cowardice.

    Edit: Sorry, Babalu, I'm not sure why I clicked the quote button to reply to this thread. My bad.
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