In Reply to: Genetical disposition posted by Passing By on May 13, 2004 at 05:39:34:
I don't know that i believe that people more prone to mental illness were attracted to the family. I DO beleive that healthy people can and will and do crack after enought strain is put on them over time. Every person has their own threshhold and that has nothing to do with a predisposition for an illness. In fact, with all the stress that many endured in the family, mental illness was not something that would have stood up to it for as long as it did for some.
I do believe that mental illness occurred for many survivors of the family. Mental illness does not mean a person is "crazy". But they can suffer from "dis-ease". Fortunately, there are many treatments with few side effects for depression and anxiety allowing people suffering from this to lead very normal lives. Those who are more ill often have great gifts. Look at Van Gogh for instance.. hey, wouldn't life be a bore if everyone was like a Norman Rockwell painting?
One thing I heard once for example, is that it is very possible that depression and anxiety can be a predisposition after coming from an anxiety filled and abusive childhood. After all, those chemicals in our brains that allow us to respond to stress are not activated regularly in a stable environment. In a severely abusive environment they are put on constant active duty.
I suppose that would cause a depletion or damage over time. Perhaps that is why many are prone to addictions? One thing I do know is that not everything is known, at least not yet, about the causes of depression and other illnesses. Now that the gene has been mapped, I believe we have entered a new era of discovery that will advance dramatically with causes and cures for diseases and illnesses.