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Is Depression Inherited?
Writer Daphne Merkin shares her battle with decades of depression and wonders if it can be inherited. "Some of my happiest moments have been spent as a mother. I say this despite being a constitutionally unhappy person who has fought all her life against an encroaching darkness — and not always successfully. Those moments stretch back decades — to, say, summer mornings in a rented cottage on Block Island, when I, an inveterate late sleeper, would be awakened shortly past dawn by my 10-month-old daughter, Zoë, standing up in her crib, cheerfully gurgling at me, raring to begin the day. And they are as recent as last week when Zoë, now 22, and I engaged in one of our long analytical talks about the movie we had just watched, and I was struck by the ways in which her mind works differently from mine and by certain perceptual habits we have in common."