Hey folks! Just came across this story at Time.com, "Study: 'Depression Gene' Doesn't Predict the Blues."
According to a metastudy of recent genetic studies, the presence of the so-called depression gene (named 5-HTTLPR. What? That's hard to remember? Nah.) does not necessarily determine whether or not a person will have depression. Several studies a few years ago showed that people in high stress situations who were depressed also had this genetic combo. This correlation (I feel obligated to remind you all,"correlation is NOT causation") spurred some enterprising companies to offer testing for the gene. Which apparently lead some people who were carriers to decide to avoid getting married or having children--even though the tests are only supposed to help match patients with antidepressants--because they assumed their children were doomed.
The metastudy Time reported on says people have (surprise!) jumped to some spurious conclusions. Depression is complicated. Genes are complicated. The way the two interact is, um, complicated. How depression manifests itself is still as much about your jeans as it is about your genes. It's a lot about how you deal with your emotions, what kind of support system you have, what kind of environment you grew up in.
Which is one reason why I have hope for my kids. Because of our family tree they each have a 75-80% chance of developing depression and/or an anxiety disorder. That number has made me wonder on more than one occasion if I actually should be reproducing. But, hopefully, I'm working out some of the kinks in my life so that that probability will mean little to them. They'll have the tools they need to create a fulfilling life, even if they are depressed.
And there's always Jesus. He makes up for all our weaknesses. He even turns them into strengths. That makes me feel better too.
For your weekend viewing pleasure, here's a clip from the movie, Gattaca. Yep, I'm a geek and I loved this movie. Especially the alternate ending (Sorry there's no sound. Blame Youtube. Try humming soulfully. That'll get you in the mood!):