Connie, I know how you feel. Depression usually does tend to run in families. I have it on both sides, and as you mentioned, my father's family "self-medicated" with alcohol, too. That's never a good idea, as alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and it makes the depression even worse. I used to drink to "feel better" when I was young, but it never seemed to sink in that instead of feeling better, I usually ended up crying at the end of a night of drinking. DUUUHH!!