Chapter 12: Putting it all together

Genes, Stress, Depression and Atrophy — Conclusion

(updated 12/2014)

Knowing, at a biological level, that a big part of the problem is “not your fault”, might be at least part of the toolset you can use to get better — or at least suffer less with what you’ve got. Perhaps it will help, at least somewhat, to keep your own mind from making things worse. I hope that turns out to be true for you.

Here are the key concepts for each chapter, all in a row, so you can review what you’ve learned, with a link for each if you’d like to review.

Chapter 1:

1Moral3 (1)

Chapter 2:

2Other1 (2)


Chapter 3:

2Other3 (1)


Chapter 4:

4Antid1 (1)


Chapter 5:

Although it might seem like knowing which allele lengths you have would be a great thing, there are some reasons to be cautious.

Chapter 6:

Here is the problem, described in the next 4 chapters, and the hoped-for results of treatment, detailed in Chapter 11:

Cellular Connections During Mood Disorders
Cellular Connections During Mood Disorders

Results of Effective Treatments
Results of Effective Treatments
(Most of the images in these chapters, including these two, are used by courtesy of Dr. Husseini Manji; please do not copy them)


Chapter 7:

Stress causes the normal production of new neurons in the hippocampus (“neurogenesis”) to slow or stop; and it may be that antidepressants work by accelerating that process.

HippoCellLoss1 (1)


Chapter 8:



Chapter 9:



Chapter 10:



Chapter 11:

Antidepressant treatments and lithium lead to mprovements in structure (before lithium above, after lithium below)

11Reve2 (1)


and in function (perhaps directly related to the structural changes, but welcome in any case) :

Control Before Treatment After Treatment p
Verbal/Logical Memory 28 +/- 7 18 +/- 9 27 +/- 8 .001