Depressed, With Children

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 10 2012 @ 1:18pm

Sarah Silverman recently confessed she won't have children partially because she fears passing on the depression that runs in her family. Maia Szalavitz tempers the debate:

People with a parent or sibling with major depression are two to three times more likely than average to develop it themselves. But what the commenters didn’t mention is that the same genes that can cause depression may also encourage the sensitivity and sensibility that gives Silverman her creative talent. Indeed, some research suggests that the same exact genetics that might lead to depression can also lead to mental superhealth, depending on whether a person endured high stress in early childhood or had a calmer, more nurturing environment.

Her bottom line:

By selecting against our “worst” genes, we may run the risk of losing our greatest gifts.