So often we struggle to define ourselves as separate from our family history. Sometimes heredity plays a bigger part than we would wish. Yet, learning how to do things differently is always an option. Sometimes all it takes is a caring therapist to help make the small shifts that end up being big changes.
The thought that my mum’s disabling, disconnecting condition might be imprinted upon my DNA is terrifying. I have felt blue in the past, certainly— we cannot expect to be happy all the time — but never has gloom taken deep root for no apparent reason as it does in Mum. Flint dilutes my anxiety: The genetic susceptibility to depression is a complex one, he says, and it does not bear the same clear heritability as, say, cystic fibrosis or Huntington’s disease “when there is quite clearly a single predisposing