TED Conversations

Mark Wagner

User experience strategist and innovation professional,

This conversation is closed.

Are the human conditions of depression and anxiety merely sets of memes that are passed from generation to generation?

We have come to understand that we are born with a certain genetic set that maps our physical and physiological being (out of our control), and we are exposed to certain stimuli in life that also shape and affect our chemical make up. Medical and biological science have attributed these conditions as "diseases" and "disorders" that are hereditary, and can be aided with drugs and therapy, because they are theoretically based in "chemical imbalances." However, is it possible, beyond the instinctual level, that emotional states and conditions such as these are passed as "ideas" and instructions to us through our nurturing? That, rather, it's the experience and witnessing of our environments that shape our patterns and limitations of thought, and allow these types of conditions to manifest themselves instead?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jul 31 2013: . My answer:

    (1) "Memes" are formed by many repetitions of experiences.
    (2) Many repetitions of practice can form, change, and remove genes.
    (3) Neuro-chemicals are merely information carriers.
    • thumb
      Jul 31 2013: Thank you much for your reply. The repetition of ideas and mental constructs over and over seem to have a profound affect on how we think, feel and ultimately behave...potentially passing the same thoughts, feelings, and behaviors on to others..

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.