Children who have the depressive genes are especially sensitive to early neglect, malnutrition, deprivation, physical harm, and psychological abuse, particularly at the ages when their brains are still developing. Studies show that early childhood stress can turn on depressive genes and make children vulnerable to depression. For example, one study showed that individuals who carried depressive genes were more likely to be depressed as adults if they had been abused as children.
Children in hostile environments also develop maladaptive stress-management habits that often continue into adulthood. For example, strategies like denying the existence of problems, withdrawal, and isolation may help children survive hostile environments, but when these once-useful habits persist in adults, they serve no purpose but to cause psychological problems.
Also, children who inherit genes for depression often have parents with unipolar major depression or depressive tendencies. When parents’ depression is severe, it can decrease the effectiveness of their parenting, and stressful family environments are more likely to develop.
- What’s the relationship between brain chemicals and depression?
- What part of the brain is responsible for depression?
- How many people are affected by clinical depression?
- What exactly do you mean when you talk about stress?
- Do you have to have the genes for depression in order to get depressed?
- What role does genetics play in depression?
- How does unipolar major depression start?
- Is major depression primarily physical or mental?
- Can’t anyone have these diagnostic criteria?
- Are there blood tests or brain scans that diagnose unipolar major depression?
- Why are so many physical symptoms in the definition of depression?
- My sadness seems reasonable and bearable how much sadness is normal?
- What is the single most important symptom of unipolar major depression?
- Is depression a fad diagnosis?
- Why can’t everyone diagnose their own depression?
- How is unipolar major depression diagnosed?
- Why are there so many different names for depression?
- All this information seems overwhelming what can I do to fight all these problems?
- How can I gauge the severity of my depression and understand how it changes over time?
- What should I do if I am feeling suicidal?