THE GENE OF DEPRESSION

        


The Russian-Ukrainian war is taking another dimension. The aftermath effects of war are so worrisome that you don’t need to visit Warri before one should know that it is better to settle for jaw-jaw (without being an Ijaw) than to war-war. If this war should continue, the possibilities of famine, loss of lives, malnutrition (especially among children) and many survivors being thrown into the dungeon of depression and other related psychoses cannot be overemphasized. Studies have shown that about 9 million people in United States suffer from mental depression psychosis and about 280 million people suffer from depression and psychosis in the world. 

The current atmosphere in Nigeria radiates fuel scarcity, insecurity, unemployment and substance abuse among our youths. The rate of depression among Nigerians especially the youth has been alarming in these few years. Recent studies show that about 7 million Nigerian currently suffer from depression and it is said to be more in women than men, a lot of factors could be responsible for the variation though

WHAT IS DEPRESSION?

Depression is a mental state characterized by excessive sadness, grief, despair and misery. The core symptoms include: low mood, impairment of motivation, energy, interest and enjoyment. Somatic symptoms may include impaired memory and concentration, loss of appetite and libido (sexual drive), insomnia (lack or deprivation or inability to fall asleep at adequate length of time) and restlessness. Additional symptoms may include automatic negative thoughts, pessimistic views of one self, future and present. Extreme symptoms may include: poor frustration tolerance and suicide (the fourth leading cause of death in 15-29 years old; about 700,000 people die yearly by suicide

CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS  

Depression may or may not be triggered or stimulated by stressful events or trauma. There are risk factors that may predispose one to getting depressed. The risk factors include: Social elements (poverty, lack of confidant, substance abuse), psychological elements (personality disorder, history of abuse) and GENETICS. Studies about the physiological basis of mental psychosis have had deficiencies of some brain neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and serotonin implicated. it has also been found that behavioural mimicking by a child that grows under depressed parent(s) may to some extent account for the alarming rate of depression

WHY GENETICS?

Research studies have shown that some people may be predisposed to depression due to a specific gene they carry. A research team were able to isolate the gene that appears to be prevalent in multiple family members with depression. The belief is that as many as 40% of those with depression can trace it to a genetic link while other factors aforementioned could account for the remaining percentage. The depression gene is said to be found on chromosome 3P 25-26. It is important to know here that some scholars believe that single gene may not account for this. It is most likely to be a combination of gene that led to the disorder. Females have high chances of hereditary depression of about 42% as against 29% in males  

IS THERE TREATMENT?

YES, the use of antidepressant drugs, cognitive behavioural therapy (a form of psychotherapy) and electroconvulsive therapy for severe case of depression

CONCLUSION

My experiences at the mental health department of a teaching hospital where I had training speak a lot of how people take with levity their mental health. I will conclude with the lines of words I got from a textbook of A.C. Selmon “The world is becoming a global village where the effects of our environmental, social, economic and physical influences can be felt so easily. In the present society where depression and suicide is the order of the day, adequate strategies should be put in place to ensure that people understand more about stress and its management”

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