Ask Deepak: Conflicted About Depression
— Patricia H., Madisonville, Tennessee
I welcome the positive psychology model, in large part because it looks beyond antidepressants as a treatment. Or, to put it more starkly, it offers treatment instead of a pill to alleviate symptoms. My approach to depression doesn't contradict genetics. The latest research indicates that genes can adapt to behavior in a person's surroundings so that family traits (not just depression, but anger, domestic abuse and other predispositions) can be passed on from generation-to-generation, not by giving rise to new genes, but by shaping the genes a person already has. Two identical twins have the exact genome at birth, but by age 70, their genetic expression is totally different, depending on life experience.
In my article, I was trying to get at the life experiences that underlie depression in mild to moderate cases. Severe clinical depression is a serious malady whose causes are unknown. But even if depression comes out of a black box, with no causes that anyone can accurately cite, I think the habit of being depressed, along with the depressed response itself, can be treated. Thanks for allowing me this clarification.
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Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.
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