Which Mental Disorders Are Hereditary
There are many mental disorders that are known to have a genetic link. However, not all the genes associated with mental disorders have been identified as of today. There are some mental illnesses that have been proven to be hereditary. Some of the mental disorders and their genetic links are discussed below.
Is Mental Illness Genetic
The exact causes of mental illness are not fully understood, but genetics appear to be one piece of the puzzle. Researchers have long noted that certain conditions tend to run families, partly because of genetics, but also because of environmental factors such as shared upbringing.
Certain mental health conditions appear to be more closely tied to genetics, and research suggests that there are shared genetic factors that appear to play a part in causing these disorders.
However, genes alone are not responsible for causing mental illness. And no single gene variant could determine with certainty that a person will have a mental illness.
In other words, just because you have family members with a mental disorder does not mean you will develop it.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , mental illness does not have a single cause. Instead, it is often influenced by several factors, including:
- Alcohol or drug use
These conditions share variations in two genes that influence the development of the cellular structure responsible for regulating the calcium flow in neurons. This calcium flow plays an essential role in neurotransmission.
This part of the brain’s circuitry is linked to several essential mental functions, such as attention, thinking, memory, and emotion. Disrupted neurotransmission can result in problems often associated with different mental health conditions.
What Is The List Of Hereditary Mental Illnesses
Here is a list of hereditary mental illnesses that can affect any individual or trigger them by specific incidences in life:
There are specific genes or D.N.A. codes related to mental health disorders. In the case of inherited genes, they may contribute to more than one type of mental health illness and symptoms. The effects of the genes may develop in early life during childhood or later in life under stressful circumstances or incidences.
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What Mental Health Disorders Are Genetic
From avoiding stress to eating well, building a strong social support system to seeking professional help, the upsurge in discussions about mental health has equipped many people with tips and tricks with which to maintain a healthy mental state.
What happens though, when the mental disorder is traceable to a genetic factor? Its certainly a possibility and we need to be aware of the mental health disorders that have a genetic undertone. This will be particularly worrisome for parents who have already been diagnosed with a mental disorder at some point and are of child-bearing age or have children already.
Mental disorders are a wide range of conditions that cause psychological and behavioural disturbances that affect your mood, thinking and behaviour to different degrees of variety and severity. These disorders include anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, depression, to mention a few and Mental Health Assistance Programs are available to help people who suffer from these conditions.
While research on the inherent link between mental disorders and genetic factors have gone on for over 50 years, the results are by no means conclusive. That said, this article will now highlight five medical conditions that are suspected to be traceable to conditions. These disorders include autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder , bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia.
Is Bipolar Disorder Genetic
Scientists began suspecting mental illnesses may be genetic over 30 years ago after conducting the first twin studies involving schizophrenia. Bipolar disorder also appears to have a genetic component involving gene variations responsible for coding cellular operations that regulate calcium flow to brain cells.
The CACNA1C gene variation found to play a key role in the development of bipolar disorder is also associated with depression and schizophrenia. It further regulates brain activity involved in cognition, emotion, memory and attention all functions impacted by mental illness.
Researchers have also discovered variations in specific areas of chromosome 3 and chromosome 10 in people with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression. However, it is the variated region in chromosome 3 that presents the strongest correlation to bipolar disorder in genetic studies.
Children and teenagers at risk for bipolar disorder because they carry certain genes may also be more sensitive to stressors than children without the gene. In addition to life event stressors, other things that could trigger bipolar genes in children under 18 years old could involve diet, abnormal sleep/wake cycles and serious viral illnesses.
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Mental Illness Can Be Inherited But Theres Help And Hope
Mental illness is a major problem within the United States. As many as 19% of American adults are actively experiencing a mental illness, with almost a quarter of them experiencing a mental illness so severe that it limits their ability to work or function in society. This is a massive number, equaling roughly 47 million Americans. The number of Americans affected by mental illness is concerning, and it is vital that those who have loved ones with mental health issues understand the problem and help them get treatment.
One of the most important debates within the study of mental illness is the ultimate causes of the disease: Are mental illnesses genetic, and if so, what can be done to modulate their ultimate impact?
There seems to be no question that most mental illnesses have a genetic component. However, there is ample reason to hope: Even if you or someone you love has a family history of mental illness, there is no guarantee that they will develop a mental illness. Furthermore, with appropriate help including using our resources at the National Mental Health Hotline people with mental illnesses can get treatment and lead happy and productive lives.
Cultivate A Strong Support System
Having a strong social support system of family and friends is crucial for maintaining good mental health. A supportive network can provide essential emotional and practical assistance, and can help you cope with life’s stresses and challenges.
One way to build a robust support system is to get involved in your community. Connecting with others with similar interests or experiences can help you feel less alone and more connected. There are many ways to get involved in your community, such as through volunteering, joining a club or organization or participating in local events.
You can also stay connected to friends and family members who live far away by using technology such as social media, video chat, and email.
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Can A Mental Illness Be Hereditary
Yes, a mental illness can be hereditary, but just because an aunt or grandfather has a certain mental illness, doesnt mean you or another family member will automatically inherit the same illness, or a mental illness at all for that matter.
There has long been evidence supporting the concept of mental illnesses running in families, but now there are recent studies that suggest there are specific additional factors that increase the likelihood of certain people developing or inheriting these mental illnesses.
The Bottom Line: Is Mental Health Hereditary
The answer to that question is a confusing yes and no. Just because you inherit genes for a mental illness doesnt mean you will eventually be diagnosed with that illness. Although genetic testing cannot give you an accurate prediction regarding your risk for suffering a mental illness, you may be able to take preventative actions if there is a history of mental illness in your family. Counseling and psychoeducation can be immensely helpful to those at risk for mental illness. Seeing a therapist when you are under extreme stress is also an excellent way to help you cope with unpleasant events complicating your life.
if you would like to learn more about the heritability of mental health conditions. We have understanding, experienced counselors who will discuss your concerns and help you make decisions beneficial to your psychological well-being.
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Your Environment Plays An Important Role
What scientists do know definitively is that environmental factors play a significant role in the development of mental health conditions. These include everything from stress to poor nutrition to substance abuse, death, divorce, neglect and family life.
A genetic predisposition to mental illness coupled with environmental factors can increase the chances a child or adult will exhibit symptoms, Mordecai said. He cited a groundbreaking study conducted in the mid-90s by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente, called the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study. Its one of the largest investigations of the impact of childhood abuse and neglect on later-life health and well-being, and is still quite relevant, he explained.
From 1995 to 1997, researchers surveyed more than 17,000 people about their childhood experiences including physical, mental and sexual abuse and their current health status and behaviors.
What they found was very, very striking a direct correlation between a number of those events these people had as children and negative health outcomes as a result, Mordecai explained.
The study showed that as the number of ACEs increases, so does the risk of developing a variety of health issues, including mental health conditions like depression or risk of suicide.
Current Research On Genetic Mental Illness
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered cases of people with mental illness in the public. In April and May 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study on the prevalence and increase of cases. But this is not the only study taking place on the effect the pandemic has had on all demographics. This very interesting study on The Impact of COVID-19 on individuals living with serious mental illness discusses how the pandemic exacerbated symptoms in patients with SMI.
Experts have found that a common highly heritable factor, called the p factor, is related to psychopathology in childhood and adolescence. The study, among other actions, assessed the stability of environmental and genetic influences on the p factor across time.
A more recent study: Identifying drug targets for neurological and psychiatric disease via genetics and the brain transcriptome find the relationship between the efficacy of certain drugs and genetic variants to help better target mental diseases towards good mental health.
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Reach Out For Additional Resources
Here at Tapestry, weve designed our mental health programs to provide you with personalized care that takes into consideration your family history, unique background and experiences, as well as your own preferences.
Our staff is dedicated to getting to know you on a personal level so they can help you choose the program best suited for your needs and the vision you have for your life.
Submit a form today or give us a call at to get started.
Reach Out For Help Or Support If You Have Signs Of A Mental Illness
If you need support for a mental illness or want to learn ways to bounce back better from lifes problems, understand that therapy carries no shame. You should feel proud about choosing a self-care method that is no different from going to your primary doctor if you feel physically sick. Therapy can prevent the complications of an untreated mental illness and help you develop good mental health, regardless of your genetic, environmental, biological or societal risk factors. You also dont have to have a diagnosed problem to seek counseling. Many people go to therapy because they need help with lifes challenges.
Contact us to set up an appointment with Taylor Counseling Group in Central Texas. You can find relief from a struggle with mental illness and find ways to improve your overall mental health, regardless of your genetics. Make the change today by scheduling an appointment.
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Risk For Bipolar Disorder
Below lists the following circumstances and the percent risk :
- If one of your parents has bipolar disorder: 5%
- If both of your parents have bipolar disorder: 40%
- If your sibling has bipolar disorder: 5%
- If your identical twin has bipolar disorder: 40% to 70%
- If your non-identical twin has bipolar disorder: 20%
- If an aunt, uncle, or grandparent has bipolar disorder: 5%
However, these are just estimates. More research is needed to better understand genetic risks and other factors that might play a role. The lifetime risk of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia is 1 in 100 .
Other conditions, including anxiety and depression, are also tied to genetics, but the inheritance patterns are less clear. Some estimates suggest that if you have a first-degree relative with depression, your risk of developing the condition is around two to three times higher.
Looking at your family may have some predictive value in determining your possible risk for mental illness. However, it is important to note that many people who develop mental health conditions do not have any significant family history of mental illness.
Multifactorial Inheritance Of Mental Illness
If you have a parent or close relative with a mental illness, your chances of developing it are significantly higher. However, it is important to note that many mental disorders do not follow typical patterns of inheritance. Rather, they are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. This is known as multifactorial inheritance.
There are several genetic loci that are implicated in the development of mental illness. These include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and major depressive disorder. In addition, many environmental factors influence the risk of developing mental disorders. Genetics is only one part of the equation, but the other aspects of the disorder are equally important.
The next generation of studies will need to embrace poly-gene-environmental causation. New technologies and methods will allow researchers to examine the role of multiple genetic and environmental factors. However, researchers must be careful to avoid common research pitfalls, including assumptions, omissions, and lack of statistical power.
Understanding the genetic architecture of psychiatric disorders is crucial for understanding psychopathologies and developing effective treatments. Single-nucleotide polymorphism genotyping and genome-wide association studies have helped researchers identify common and rare risk loci. However, researchers are not certain how these variations affect the progression of mental illness.
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Nebula Genomics Dna Report For Mental Illness
Is mental illness genetic? We created a DNA report based on a study that attempted to answer this question. Below you can see a SAMPLE DNA report. To get your personalized DNA report, purchase our Whole Genome Sequencing!
|This information has been updated to reflect recent scientific research as of April 2021.|
Are Mental Illnesses Hereditary
Many times people tend to wonder if they will get a mental illness if someone in their family happens to be suffering from one. Scientists have been working for many years now to find the answer to whether mental illnesses are hereditary or not. They have been trying to single out the gene or genes that cause mental disorders such as autism, Alzheimers, ADHD, alcoholism, schizophrenia, depression, and many other such disorders that are known to have a major genetic component. Research has shown that many of the mental disorders are actually hereditary and can be passed on from one generation to another. Determining whether or not mental illness can be inherited is a hugely important factor for families affected by such disorders. Here we take a look at what the research says about mental disorders being hereditary.
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The Role Of Heredity In Mental Illness
Probably many of us living with mental illness have wondered at some point where the heck it came from. Nature? Nurture? A hodgepodge of both? Heredity, i.e. what we get from our genes, often seems to play at least some role, but genes arent the only game in town. This post looks at what some of the different players are.
When To Seek Care
Its always a good idea to seek help for your mental health if your gut tells you something is wrong. If you have distressing emotional or behavioral symptoms, and this has been going on for at least 2 weeks, this is a sign that you need care.
Additionally, if youre finding that youre unable to sleep, eat, partake in activities you used to enjoy, or function at work or school, its time to reach out for help.
Important note! If youre experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm or if someone you care for is this is considered an emergency, and you should seek prompt help. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1800273TALK . You can also text HELLO to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.
If you or a loved one is in immediate danger, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. You can also call the new Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988.
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What Causes Mental Health Issues
In general, mental health is considered to be caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors. The Mayo Clinic identifies the following contributing factors as some of the most common causes of mental illness:
- Inherited Traits: Mental health challenges are more common in individuals who have blood relatives with a mental health issue. It is believed that certain genes may increase the hereditary risk of developing a mental illness. In many cases, situations in life may trigger a mental health issue in someone who has an inherited susceptibility.
- Environmental Exposure Before Birth: Some mental illnesses and mental health issues can be linked to exposure to environmental stressors, inflammatory conditions, toxins, alcohol, or drugs while in the womb.
- Brain Chemistry: Naturally occurring brain chemicals called neurotransmitters carry signals to different parts of our brain and body. When our neural networks linked to these chemicals are impaired, our nerve receptors and systems change, causing the development of depression and other emotional disorders.
Below is a list of factors that may increase the risk of an individual developing a mental health issue, including:
It is possible to have more than one mental health disorder at a time. The effects of mental health issues can be temporary or long-lasting. Consult with a mental health provider at Diversus Health to learn more.
Mental Health & Genetics