Depression - Are we born depressed, or do we learn it?

February 21, 2010 3:52pm CST
I have always attributed my depression illness to childhood trauma. I was bullied and abused at elementary and secondary school to the extent that I became an emotional wreck. When I left school and tried to go to college, I didn't know how to survive amongst strangers because my mind was totally undeveloped from self-isolation. I had very few friends, and had become a loner by the time I hit my early twenties. Many have said that depression can be tied up with genetic defects, and while I believe this, I also believe that I learned to become depressed because every day I was getting abuse, and didn;t know how to stand up for myself. Now, years later, the abuse has stopped. But I am still emotionally undeveloped, and still only have a few friends. I wonder what to do. I wonder if there is anyway to teach yourself to be not-depressed all the time. I know that retreating to my own little world on the internet all the time is not healthy, but I wonder if the damage can ever be undone, so I can start a fresh page while I still can.
1 person likes this
13 responses
• Brazil
21 Feb 10
How in this world can you be born with depression? Have you ever seen a sad baby? An infant is happy about 90% of the time, only getting upset when he is hungry or bothered. Depression is the stupidest thing ever created by man. Yes, it was us who created this 'sickness'. In a world where some people must suffer for others to triunph, inequality reigns and makes a majority of people sad and depressed. If we all learned to coexist as brothers, as a single race of humans, we could releive ourself of all enfermetys in this world suchs as hunger and diseases, consequentialey releiving our kind of all sadness and all depression. But then again, there are the adolescent fomances which are unfufilfed. Some one likes some one else, which does not like the first someone and then the first someone get's depressed and kills themselves. That's just a mental issue and we can't do anything about it...
21 Feb 10
The suggestion that you could be born with depression was solely intended as a reference to genetically-triggered mental conditions. I do not know if these can indeed exist or not, but I do know that physical illnesses can be triggered by genetic defects, so perhaps the brain can also have genetic defects that cause it to think depressively.
@illfavors (592)
• United States
22 Feb 10
Getting depressed is a natural part of human psychology. We all get depressed at sometime for no reason at all. I just believe it's an innate part of who we are and it's something that even nature itself goes through.
@srjac0902 (1170)
• Italy
22 Feb 10
A child born to the depressed mother will carry along with those tendencies. Biological genes too will influence our personality. The temperaments such as sanguine choleric, melancholic and phlegmatic are the expressions of family heredity and genes. Often parents give Birth children without being aware of real formation process of the children. Any how the psychological birth effects can be corrected with proper rearing of the child by providing it warmth, security, approval and the correction of the defects by indirect cordial approach than threatening and humiliating process. Often children are the victims of our rage than the human subjects of our humanitarian mission. But when the formation at childhood too has a painful scar, it will remain. But man is so great that with inner force, with study, observance and setting the noble goals can change the so called consequences of the past. If one is aware that a great injustice has been done to his innocent self, then the vendetta would be to study more on these factors, speak out, discuss and take a role of a democratic educator. With the grace of God, support of the friends man is able to change and set right. He is different from an animal. Because of the past experience, one can be a consistent educator
• India
22 Feb 10
I can feel for you coz I too was brought up in such a way that I never learnt how to stand up for myself. Along with all the values that our parents teach us, they always tell us to be polite, to be friendly, to share but they never teach us how and when to be selfish…to stand up for one’s own sake. I think this is something very important that all parents should teach their children…anyways my parents never taught me how to protect myself with the result that like you, by the time I was in college, I was very introvert and shy and never had any presence of mind. However, my small group of friends helped me a lot…in the sense that I could open myself to them and thru them I came to know of a lot many more things I was unaware before. You too should keep your mind open to different influences…gradually I think you will come across something which will interest you for further studies or work. Also, I wish you to fall in love…it’s a great anti-dote to depression and God willing, if you find your perfect partner then that person will help you a lot to build up your character in a better way.
@rosegardens (3043)
• United States
22 Feb 10
I am so sorry you had to go through all that. I have a friend that was pretty abused, and like you she isolated. Heck, even when she tried to have friends they kind of got abusive to her and picked on her. She joined a church where people hug at almost every function and people uplift her and tell her what she can do, God loves her, etc. She did begin to thrive with all the positiveness coming her way. So my suggestion to you is to join a church, a charismatic church where people hug, express their love for God publicly and where you can feel safe to be yourself. Check out the churches in your area, just go and observe the people and how they seem to get along (or not) and choose a place carefully. Get involved in volunteering within a group until you feel comfortable to stretch out on your own. Are you seeking counseling at this moment? That may help you, providing you get a good therapist to work with you. I hope and pray the best things for you, and most of all that the affects of all that trauma will be noneffective on your psyche as you move forward and discover the wonderful person you are, and all the good things you have to offer the world.
• New Zealand
22 Feb 10
We are born depressed , I think. This is because , some of us are victims of situation. Just put urself in social situations. Don't hide within ur internet world. Expand ur comfort zone. I know what U want: U want a mate :) So go to clubs, etc. Get ur friends or a family member and they can watch u as u try to talk to women. Display confidence and u'll be rewarded. Good luck.
• Philippines
22 Feb 10
My friend I understand that you've experienced different forms of abuse in your life. It is a normal reaction of abuse individual to hide away from abuse evironment and retreat to a created safe-environment. It's not easy to be in this situation, you will have a hard time building trust and companionship because of the fear of being abuse. We may sometimes feel helpless. But I believe after having been through with the different form of abuse my dear friend, i do believe that you will eventually eliminate depression in your system. Because upon understanding your situation, your able to acknowledge the pain in your past,and you have full self awareness. One way to face our nightmares and fanthoms in life is to acknowledge and be aware. I have high hopes that your going on the right path in starting a fresh start with your life. You never suppressed or repressed any sad events in your life, which is a good thing if you want to get healed from the deep wound that your past has caused you. We may not change the past but we can create a better future in our lives. Believe more in your self and keep that positive energy in your life. It may take time to heal but the process of being healed has already started you just don't realized it yet. More power and you can make your life and future brighter my dear.
@Porcospino (19727)
• Denmark
22 Feb 10
I think it is often a combination of both things. I believe that some people are more prone to depression than others, that doesn't mean that they will always get a depression, but if they experience traumatic or stressful things, they might develop a depression. Other people go through some very traumatic things without getting a depression, because they didn't inherit the tendency to get depressions. I have had several depressions myself, and I think that there is a genetic factor, but at the same time I also believe some of it was caused by the experiences in my childhood. My tharapists have always asked me about me family history of depressions, but I think that is only one part of it.
@se7enthbird (8327)
• Philippines
22 Feb 10
sorry to hear that. that was really depressing. parents plays a big role on this i guess. they should always be there to talk and to guide thier child. i was never abused at school when i was younger because i was bigger than the usual kids at school. but i never bullied anyone. i know what you feel for i pity students who are bullied. this will really have a big affect on a child. but now that you are much older now you need to control depressions. find ways were you can relax and get your mind out of this depression. the damage can not be undone but you can make something to change your now life. that was the past learn from it and make something good to make you feel okay. it is only you who can do that. counseling is something you can do. talk to people who can uplift your spirit. i was depressed too for mt father is not as good as a father for a son but got through with it. goodluck
@iridium (436)
22 Feb 10
i have had depression all my life. so yes i think you can be born with it. for the record i come from a happy family and there were no major childhood incidents that would be associated with adult depression.
@freeboy90 (458)
• Italy
21 Feb 10
For what I know some people have a very high risk to be depressed beacause of their genes , but that doesn't mean that only people with depression in their genetic code will be depressed, it can be caused by different situations, like abuses, or trauma. If you remember some cases of depression in your relatives then there might be a genetic cause, otherwise it might well be the bad experiences you had in your early ages. I am not an expert, but I think that if there is a genetic component it is almost unpossible to defeat depression but with medicines that will pretty much cut off all the high and low feelings. If the problem is another one I'd suggest you to see a specialist ( not only skitzos go see a shrink) it might help a lot, Freu which also happened to be on my avatar said that to defeat your hillness you have to first know where in comes from :) Good Luck.
@doormouse (4619)
21 Feb 10
i don't think you can be born with depression,but i do believe it can be hereditary,but only clinical depression,,i've been depressed for years,mine was first diagnosed as social depression,which i was told is when a person can't cope with the situation they are in,but when they're out of that situation the depression goes,,but then after i got out of the situation i was in they discovered it was clinical depression,which is apparantly a chemical imbalance,for which i've been on meds for the last 8 years for,,the doc also said mines probably hereditary as my mum and 3 or her sisters have depression aswell,,,it may be an absolute load of rubbish,who knows
@LaurenInLA (2272)
• United States
21 Feb 10
I think that it can be learned but it can be atrributed to a chemical imbalance in your brain as well. You said the key word, depression is an illness. Are you taking medication? It sounds to be that as a result of your childhood experiences that you have a self esteem problem. I hope that you will check out an internet program that I'm going to recommend to you. It's called Tools to Life and it is a 90 day program that helps you with esteem issues etc. I think that you would find it tremendously helpful and it is absoultely free. Please take a look. It made such a tremendous impact on my life. Best of luck to you.