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is endogenous forever?

D

doxa

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Joined
Apr 30, 2009
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1
Location
winnipeg, manitoba
greetings out there in cyberspace.
i have a pressing question that i don't know who to ask. perhaps i can ask anyone who feels inclined to answer. i've had recurring depressive episodes since late adolescence (i'm now 32 yrs old). the past one occurred 14 months after the birth of my first (wonderful!!) child and put me into the hospital for five weeks and included a round of ECT. it was a very scary time for my family in particular. i'm on the mend with God's help but still experiencing mild depressive symptoms. my psychiatrist has stated that my "major depressive illness" is "endogenous in nature" and that i will probably have to "manage" it for the rest of my life. i absolutely love children and i've been told i'm a good mother, but it's true that i've never had a truly stable time lasting longer than six months. i am being discouraged to have more children due to the nature of my depression, the instability it inevitably brings with it, etc.
my question is, from the wealth of experience represented here on this website: is it best to refrain from having more children, given not only my own depression but also the strong genetic factors that run in my family? (my mother, aunt, sister, brother all have depression, and my father paranoid schizophrenia. nasty gene pool, indeed. on bad days, i remind myself that i'm doing quite well in light of the statistics...) if anyone has grown up with a depressed parent--what do you think? how badly will these recurring episodes--even if mild or moderate, not requiring hospitalization--affect my children? will i hurt them inadvertently with my instability, even though my love for them is so wide and deep and strong? please don't say, "if you really want more, don't let anyone tell you what to do." i think it's wise to listen to the voices around me, i just want to be sure that those voices aren't speaking from their own personal fears. i'm ready to face some hardship, but i don't know if others are or if it's even ethical to submit more children to (loving) instability. any input very, very welcome. thank you, friends.
 
nickh

nickh

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
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1,428
Location
Birmingham UK
I think you probably know that is an impossible question for anyone to answer properly doxa ; all anyone can do is give their personal response based on their own experiences. I don't know what mine are worth but I will list them anyway....

1) (the slightly more factual bit!) many people - myself included - do get better at 'managing' the illness by whatever combination of medication/talking therapy/self-help works for them. It is still incapacitating but more manageable.

2) I grew up in a very unloving family (the psychological source of many of my problems) and wish that I had had a loving mother even if she was only well for half of the time. I really hope that doesn't sound flippant because I can assure you that it is not - it is a deep reality for me.

3) Personally I have always been grateful that I did not have kids - I didn't really develop depression until late 20's so it is quite possible that I should have - because of my condition and thinking how hard that would have been for them. I admit that is easy for me to say as I have never really wanted kids.

Now I appreciate that 2 and 3 are in direct contradiction so this doesn't really help much! Sorry about that but as I said at the start all one can do is offer a set of personal opinions and experiences.

Nick.
 
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