is there a coorelation between having a high intellect and depression?

I don’t know what you mean by this. Depression seems to occur on a spectrum from mild to moderate to severe. Dysthymia is low-level chronic depression that can escape detection as “clinical depression”. Tragic events in life can trigger depression. Head injury or stroke can lead to depression.

Except for a very small percentage of people who are permanently (perhaps pathologically) optimistic, I think everyone is born with the “potential” to be clinically depressed.

If you think that people are born one way or the other, then it should be easy to pinpoint what chromosomes cause depression in everyone. I don’t think any such evidence exists. What makes you think that you’re either born with it or not?

Not exactly “easy”. How many genetic diseases have had their chromosomes pinpointed in the last decade? Not many. There are plenty of theories, plenty of “maybes”, but we’re not that far along in genetics yet.

Now why do I think you’re born with it or not? Clinical depression is an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. Everyone feels “depressed” at some time or another, but that doesn’t mean you have depression. Family member dies, lose your job, everyone forgets your birthday: all reasonable reasons to feel down in the dumps. Like you said, tragic events can trigger depression, but someone who is clinically depressed feels despair and depression all the time, even at the smallest of things. I have several friends that suffer from it, and even when everything is peachy and their lives are great, they find reason to believe that there’s nothing to live for and so on, and only meds and therapy can suppress that. Since this is not a normal condition and it defies the logic of normal emotion, it’s more than likely genetic. And I’ve read several reports that suggest the same thing, but they were on real paper, so I don’t have any Internet cites for you.

Lisa say so. Why Lisa lie? :frowning:

Seems kind of plausible to me, but I don’t know. It seems as though most of the really funny, witty people that you think of as being smart or clever are the ones who are dealing with the heaviest stuff internally. YMMV.

Your conclusion is unjustified. Undoubtedly, there is a genetic component, but I suspect any individual, subjected to the specific critical stressors for them, could develop a clinical or sub-clinical depression. Sociological, nutritional, external chemical exposure, and a myriad of other non-genetic factors come into play. And I know of no accepted, peer-reviewed literature that claims depression is solely a matter of genetics.

Feynn, it will take a while for me to locate the cites for this as I was reading up on something else when I came across it, but apparently there is a serious flaw in Terman’s project as it applies to all gifted/high IQ people. All of Terman’s subjects were identified as exceptional in childhood and received proper help, training, and recognition. The majority of ‘gifteds’, at least those that are adults now, were unrecognized in childhood or, if recognized, did not receive the support and care they should have.

I’m 44, and there were no ‘gifted’ programs in our little rural schools when I was young. I was ‘recognized’ in the first grade, but my parents were opposed to my receiving any special consideration, opportunities, benefits, etc. to encourage and develop my abilities. Right now I’m an unemployed emotional wreck trying to undergo therapy to help with the existential depression and intellectual frustration I’ve lived with all of my life.

I only discovered I was ‘gifted’ about a week ago. I’m still trying to accept and adjust to the fact that I truly am different. Without help and guidance, ‘gifted’ children often crash on the rocks as adults, and depression seems to be pretty common in this group because of the frustration and isolation/loneliness created by our ‘gift’.

That may be why there seem to be so many people here at the SDMB that are/have been suffering from depression - a lot of highly intelligent, sensitive people living frustrating, unfulfilling lives, coming here for their ‘fix’ of things they can’t find in real life.
(At least, that’s what my therapist said about me! He even had me pull up the SDMB on his office computer so he could take a look at the place.)