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The chicken or the egg   Leave a comment

I have a difficult time figuring out whether my depression is from heredity or from my environment.  It seems to work both ways in my situation.  I found out my mom and my maternal grandmother were treated for depression.  Before 1950, people were very ashamed about going to a psychiatrist or a psychiatric hospital.  Even now, mental illness is an uncomfortable topic for many people.  Last week, my co-workers were joking about people who used to stay in a psychiatric hospital.  A few of them agreed they did not want to meet anyone who used to be a patient there.  I figured they were joking because the topic was uncomfortable for them.  They don’t know I struggle with depression, and have struggled with depression for many years.

I grew up with a disability, and as a result, I had trouble making friends growing up.  My non-disabled peers often did not want to talk with me.  My parents enjoyed reading and educational activities.  I focused on doing well academically because I had trouble making friends.  My parents expected me to have a normal social life and wanted me to function like a normal person.  I thought I was worthy only if I managed my life well and had good grades.  I was often lonely, though.  I did not think I had a problem with depression.  I did well with school and kept busy.  I followed my Dad’s philosophy about handling problems.  He said “If something is bothering you, just keep busy.”  It worked well for me until I went to college.

Posted March 5, 2011 by Nancy Mathis in Uncategorized

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