Find help when fighting depression
DEAR MARIANN: Is depression hereditary?
MARIANN’S RESPONSE: As with many diagnoses specific to mental health, there is a genetic component, including that for depression. Anyone with a parent or relative who has depression, or suffers from bi-polar disorder, substance abuse, schizophrenia, or a gamut of anxiety-related disorders, can inherit that same psychological make-up.
My suggestion if you are a parent or have a parent who has been diagnosed with one of the traits listed in the previous paragraph, as with being vigilant about our physical health, I would talk with your primary care physician about this possibility. The physician can order a short assessment for many of these mental health diagnoses to determine if you are experiencing any of the symptoms. Especially with depression, the evolution of traits can start slowly. Eventually a person has felt “blah” or lifeless for so long, they do not remember feeling excited about life. This is especially true as we age. Depression is a major issue for the elderly, along with a surprising recent nationwide spike in suicides of this age group due to being depressed.
Depression is a serious condition and if you or someone else in your family is experiencing depression, please ask them to seek help. There are many excellent pharmaceuticals specific to depression that a physician can prescribe. However, as mentioned previously in my column, attending counseling is a needed component when taking an anti-depressant versus just assuming that popping a pill “will solve it all.”
Mariann Main is a Licensed Counselor and a Delaware native. Her column appears weekly on Saturdays. To submit a question and have Mariann answer it anonymously, visit delgazette.com/life-questions-with-local-answers or send mail to the Delaware Gazette office, 40 N. Sandusky St., suite 203, Delaware, OH 43015.