Nature vs Nurture - Depression

Topics: Major depressive disorder, Seasonal affective disorder, Nature versus nurture Pages: 2 (818 words) Published: February 9, 2013
For years there has been an ongoing debate of nature versus nurture. Nature refers to genetics, inheritance and genes, and nurture refers to characteristics shaped by one’s environmental influences. For the purpose of this paper, the development of depression will be researched in terms of the nature versus nurture debate. Studies show that while some people are genetically predisposed to mood disorders, many people develop them through environmental factors. However, a different study looked at the relationship and interaction of nature and nurture. Therefore, the development of depression can not be pinpointed to one just one specific cause; it can be developed through genetics, environmental influences, or a mixture of both. Mood disorders tend to run in families, which suggests that depression could be inherited. Those with a first-degree relative (parent, sibling) with depression are three times more likely to become depressed than those without. Researchers studied identical twins with the same DNA. They found that if one twin had depression, the other twin had a 76 percent chance of developing it as well if they were raised together. When the twins were raised apart, the other twin had a 67 percent chance of becoming depressed. These numbers are high enough to suggest that genetics do play a part in the development of depression. (Heimler, 2011) In a study lead by Dr Myrna Weissman, professor of epidemiology in psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and director of the Division of Epidemiology at the New York State Psychiatric Institute found that thinning of the brain cortex thinning can be linked to depression, because it ‘disrupts a person's ability to pay attention to and make sense of social and emotional cues from others’. Researchers found that the offspring of those with depression had thinner cortexes than those with non-depressed parents. (Paddock, 2009) This shows that depression can be inherited from parents...
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