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Is there any test to determine the severity of depression and is there any genetic linkage?

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Practicing since : 2007
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Hi, my name is XXXXXXX I am 52y/o white, female of European/ English descent. I have suffered bouts of clinical depression for the majority of my life, treated with MANY S.S.R.I. mefromsmsnt much success. I had horrible migraines for approx. 20 yrs. Which ALL the medical professionals thought were a symptom of my depression. Then on 8-11-2007 I suffered a hemorrhagic stroke caused by a ruptured aneursym in my right Basal Ganglia. This paralyzed my left side, left me with balance issues, sleep disorders, & even worse depression. Almost total apathy to life in general. Most of my physical abilities have returned. But my biggest fear by far is now seeing VERY low self-esteem, social isolation in my beloved children. Ages28 &26. Is this a genetic link, learned behavior, or WHAT?? As their Mother it makes my heart bleed & I feel that I MUST SOMETHING TO HELP THEM!! Neither will see any medical professional, nor take ANY MEDICATION. Both have been screened for genetic aneurysms, since I have had 10 close relatives die from ruptured aneurysms. Is there a test that they could take to determine the severity of their depression? I also have a diagnosis of Sjorgens mixed connective tissue LUPUS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME & EFFORT. XXXXXXX O.
Posted Wed, 22 Jan 2014 in Depression
Answered by Dr. Srikanth Reddy 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Yes there is a genetic linkage Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for choosing health care magic for posting your query. I have gone through your question in detail and I can understand what you are going through. Depression is an illness which is genetically determined to some extent. The chances of children developing depression increase tremendously if both parents are having mood disorder. However chances of your child developing mood disorder where in only mother is having depression is only around 10-13% which is not very significant. Moreso it is all the more unlikely that both of your sons are having a depression. (Genetically!) Hence I feel that the current behaviorism that your sons are demonstrating are more of learned experience and is amenable to behavioural therapy. They may not need any medical treatment but it would be wise to show it to a behaviour therapist (psychologist). Severity of depression is detemined by sing scales. Montgomerry Asperger Depression Scale (MADRS) is one such scale which is helpful in determining the score of depression. Regarding your illness, it is quite apparant that your depression is of organic origin and will still require proper antidepressant management. If one drug is not working then it would be wise to switch to anew drug like venlafaxine, mirtazapine, bupropion etc. Even augmentation with lithium or lamotrigine would be a good option. Hope I am able to answer your concerns. If you have any further query, I would be glad to help you. If not, you may close the discussion and if possible you may rate the answer for me, so that I get a good feedback. In future if you wish to contact me directly, you can use the below mentioned link: Wish you good health, Kind regards Dr. Srikanth Reddy M.D.
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