Re: Origin of Depression

From: Kenneth Van Oost (
Date: Wed Jan 30 2002 - 21:04:33 GMT

  • Next message: Kenneth Van Oost: "Re: Origin of Depression"

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    From: "Kenneth Van Oost" <>
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    Subject: Re: Origin of Depression
    Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 22:04:33 +0100
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Keith Henson <>
    > >On 27 Jan 2002, at 12:45, Keith Henson wrote:
    > > > It is actually remarkable simple. As Hamilton said one time, he
    should be
    > > > willing to die if it would save more than 2 brothers or more than 8
    > > > cousins. If you understand that a brother carries half your genes and
    > > > cousin one eighth of your genes it is obvious math to see that genes
    > > > favoring this level of sacrifice would be favored over the long term.
    > >
    > >Hm, but what about those family fathers who murder their whole
    > >family and commit suicide afterwards?
    > You don't need to include the family to ask evolutionary questions about
    > suicide and the depression that drives most of it. Evolutionary
    > principles tell you that something which looks horribly counter survival
    > for the genes is generally a side effect of some character that in a
    > amount or in the ancestral environment promoted reproductive success.

    << I don 't wanna sound as an expert in such matters, but don 't treat all
    depressions alike !
    Out of investigations done by Van Heeringen, a Dutch professor working
    in the UZ- hospital here in Ghent, after conducting the psychological
    autopsy of the patients, it seems 64 % of the suicides are due to depres-
    sion, but you have to make a distinction between being depressive by
    none- personal matters and depression caused by psycho(bio)logical

    The first category describes fysiological, cultural, economical, ...
    The second are personal psychiatric deseases and illnesses, none-
    holding factors ( alcohol, drugs,) ( don 't know the expession in English),
    and the presence of means ( guns, gas,..)
    The idea is that in modern times the cause for depression switched from
    being caused by personal matters to a more neuro- biological approach,
    caused by the increasing number of stressors.

    Those are, having a far greater sensibility for certain stressors
    not- being socially accepted,..), vulnerability,... borderliners ( we hurt
    ourselves by watching others).
    For that matter, most people who die from these are youngsters, aged
    between 11 and 17 !
    But yes, what kids now experience as stressors were in the parental
    environment bias for promotion, social status, sex, marriage and repro-
    ductive succes. Kids can 't cope, yet, with this kind of life and back- off,
    and in extreme cases commot suicide.

    In a rapport, dating from 1998, 80.000 kids are suffering from depression,
    and that in elementary school ! That is 5 % of the total !
    Depression i the desease of the future !

    > I don't know what the purpose might be of the genes which (in excessive
    > numbers) lead to depression. They could have been a way to conserve
    > when the prospects of hunting were unfavorable. They might be a way to
    > keep mania in check. Mania could be an outcome of having too many genes
    > for excessive optimism and/or working hard--and that we can understand
    that> since our ancestors who worked hard to feed their families left more
    > offspring. (Though not so many as the ones who figure out how to get
    > *others* to work hard for them. <grin>)

    << I don 't think this is the main reason !
    There is a genetical link to depression, but the kind of depression with we
    are dealing here, is in most cases caused by environmental stessors_
    alcoholism of the parents, matrimonial conflicts of divorces, abuse, unem-
    ployment,... you name it !
    Also, what one calls the ' right- winged- education '.
    Kids are supposed to do more and more all the times. If they can 't follow,
    they get thrown in the common education schools or in the technical
    education schools.
    In fact, their problems are education- problems, not personal problems,
    as most people think. The problem is not the kid but the environment.



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