By ‘determined’ I don’t mean single-minded in your resolution to paint it black. I mean genetically determined. That’s the news anyway. Scientists have found a link between your genes and your ability to produce a brain molecule called neuropeptide Y (NPY) whose function it is to restore calm after stressful events. Can I have a shot, please?

The link between a heightened level of NPY and resilience to depression has been studied before, at least as it applies to combat exposed veterans. Word has been out for a while describing how this brain chemical makes some soldiers stress free under fire. And if them, why not the rest of us mortals too?

Anyway, this news is based on research done by a team at the University of Michigan. Which mightn’t interest you too much. Until you learn that they have a Depression Centre which is doing some really great work. While flicking around their website I came across some goodies I’d like to share with you.

There is a good, short article on managing depression by positive self-talk. Other aspects of the ‘depression tool-kit’ provided include advice on diet, exercise and goal-setting.

Another point that struck me was the link between junk food and depression. This in a week where the news was that junk food lowers IQ in children. If you are what you eat, and you eat junk food, then…

For those who would rather watch a vid than read an article, there is an excellent short series of videos on managing depression.

For primary care workers, there is a selection of treatment guidelines designed to increase your knowledge.

And for those, like me, with a special interest in the mental health of men, there’s a good article on men and depression, as well as a link to a relevant section in the site of the National Institute of Mental Health.

So maybe depression is in your genes. But it doesn’t always have to be in your life!

Image credit: kaizat.