Anonymous asked in Social SciencePsychology · 1 decade ago

Are psichiatric diseases genetic?

My family,on my mother side,seems to have lots of problems with mental diseases.Onde of my mother's aunts is schizophrenic and,of her two brothers,one is also schizophrenic and the other one(her sister,actually)had bipolar disease,and her daughter is also bipolar.My mother and my grandmother are both very nervous;I actually think my mother must have some kind of mental problem too.When I was younger,her doctor even told her to take some pills because of her nervous,inconsistent behaviour.Nowadays,she's still a very nervous person,having some quite scary anger attachs.I find myself being very nervous and moody too,even though I can control myself quite well,I believe.I was wondering:is it possible for me to eventually develop one of my familie's mental diseases?Is it possible that I already one of those mental diseases?

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well, many of these diseases/disorders are both genetically linked and environmentally linked. Researchers have a difficult time in many cases separating the two. This makes it difficult to provide a cause and effect theory. The numbers between childhood trauma and both bi-polar and schizophrenia show high correlation; however, the genetic factor of schizophrenia is also high. Yes, it is possible to develop one of these diseases/disorders. If you had bi-polar disorder (not a disease), you would most certainly be aware of your ever changing mania/depressed states. It isn't possible to already have one of those illnesses without displaying the symptoms that are associated with the disease/disorder. While you may be at a higher risk than others, due to heredity factors, it doesn't mean you will always develop the condition.

    Source(s): It is a combination of knowledge from a few research studies, journal articles and classroom knowledge.
  • 1 decade ago

    The genetics of psychiatric illness is very complex. Many of the researchers in the field of psychiatric genetics agree that illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar have a substantial genetic component, but that there is also an environmental component e.g. SZ is ~ 80% genetic, 20% environmental (science literature). There are of course, others who disagree with that statement. You will need to do more reading of these subjects to make your own informed decision.

    The genetic view is that many genes (100+) are involved in adding risk to developing a disorder. However, if the environmental (and that means e.g. chemicals, drugs, complications at birth, not strict mothers etc.) components do not interact with your genes in a certain way, you may never develop the disorder.

    The take home message is that yes, genetics are involved in complex diseases such as psychiatric illness, but it is not the whole story. Therefore just because some family members have an illness DOES NOT mean that you will develop the same/similar disorder. If this answer helps, I can write some more advice. Best Wishes.

    Source(s): Molecular Psychiatry Neuropsychiatric genetics Nature Genetics American Journal of Human Genetics
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Psychiatric diseases do have a genetic component, but they are also heavily dependent on environmental factors. So really what you inherit is a susceptibility to the mental illness, but that doesn't mean that you will get it.

    It is not true that scientists have a hard time distinguishing between genes and environment. Not to a significant extent anyway. One of the ways they study this is by analyzing the concordence rates of disorders in identical twins (who share 100% genes, and similar environment), fraternal twins or siblings (50% genes, similar environment), adopted children (0% genes, similar environment), and also identical twins who were reared in different homes (100% genes, different environments). All of those conditions help them see the extent genes and envoriment play in the development of mental disorders.

    Schizophrenia is one of the most highly genetic mental disorders, with a concordence rate of almost 50% in identical twins (who share 100% of their genes). That means if your identical twin has the disease, you have a 50% chance of getting it. Even then it's not a guarantee. Of course that rate goes down significantly when less genes are shared. So your mother's aunt might not share any genes with you at all. So basically, with a family member so far removed it's almost a concordence rate of 0%. Usually it has to be a more direct family member (mother, brother, grandmother, etc.). Environment still plays a huge role in whether you will develop a disorder though.

    So yes it is possibly to develop one of those disorders, but don't think that your genes have condemned you to anything. If you can control it, and it doesn't interfere significantly with your life, then you don't have a disorder.

    Source(s): psychology degree
  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, most mental illnesses are inheirted including Bipolar and Schizophrenia. A limited few are environmentally brought on such as PTSD.

    I don't know your specific age but it is possible to develop Bipolar Disorder to the point where you may require medication. You see, you are genetically predisposed to "handle life" in a certain way. When life comes at you in unexpected ways, as it always will, the Bipolar may win out against your will. Please don't feel as if you've done anything wrong. It's just the way you're made. But now that you know that it is your responsbility to take control of yourself and your life if the disease should appear.

    The onset for schizophrenia for females is late teen years, usually around age 16 or 17. For males onset is later, usually in the mid 20's.

    Understand that even if you never show symptoms of either disease you may pass either or both to your children. But if that occurs, you'll have had lots of experience on how to handle it from your family.

    Source(s): I'm a mental health professional.
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  • 1 decade ago

    When I took Psy class they said if you had family members with a psychiatric disease you were more likely to have one as well. But I think it's more to the effect that you grew up around it and as a child had seen that as how you interact with your surroundings. But I think you need to see someone to just evaluate you so at least you don't have the fear anymore, because that added stress of worrying could cause the attacks. Good Luck

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    They do say with mental illness that it is genetic. You will have a 50/50 chance of getting this. Look for the signs & learn ahead of time on how to deal w/ this incase you do develope it.

  • 1 decade ago

    Most of the psychiatric disorders are genetic. I have anxiety/panic disorder and most of the people on my Father's side of the family have some sort of disorder.. depression,anxiety,alcoholism. They all seem to go hand and hand.

    I would think that your best bet would be to go and see your Dr. and speak or your concerns. It certainly couldn't hurt.

    Good Luck!

  • 1 decade ago

    bipolar is in your family so most likly you will have but there are many diffrent things that will bring it on allot of stress in your life can set it off

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