Some mental health conditions run in families, which has long been known. Research based on family, adoption, and twin studies has contributed significantly to treatment offered by an Ohio mental hospital. If one identical twin develops schizophrenia, the other twin has a 50% risk of having the condition as well. Researchers are looking at the probable links between particular genes and serious conditions such as schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder in order to add to this body of knowledge.
Genetics and Mental Health
The Hidden Links Between Mental Disorders
For years, we’ve known that some serious mental illnesses run in families. Bipolar disorder, significant depression, and schizophrenia are all examples of this. Scientists are progressing in their efforts to find genes linked to mental illnesses, but they still have a long way to go. Here are the links between particular genes and serious conditions.
Schizophrenia is a severe and persistent brain disorder that affects one’s behavior and thinking. Hallucinations and delusions are common in people with schizophrenia, such as seeing objects that aren’t there or feeling they are being followed. If left untreated, schizophrenia can have a negative influence on a person’s relationships with family and friends, as well as their job.
While the link between schizophrenia and family history is well-established, narrowing the risk to a single gene is extremely difficult. A gene known as catecho-O-methyltransferase (COMT) has been the subject of much research.
The COMT produces an enzyme that breaks down dopamine, a neurotransmitter thought to have a role in schizophrenia development.
Researchers discovered some evidence that people who inherit a certain combination or mutation of the COMT gene are more likely to develop schizophrenia.
Because of the intricacy of how genes interact with one another and how various neurotransmitters impact brain function, much more study is needed.
Depression manifests itself in a variety of ways, including sorrow, emptiness, and hopelessness. These symptoms can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life and, in the worst-case scenario, lead to suicide.
Why do some people get melancholy in response to stressful life situations while others do not is one of the topics psychologists have been attempting to address.
The serotonin receptor gene is one of the genes that has been investigated. A group of researchers monitored a number of people for five years to see how they reacted to various life pressures. Loss of a job, death of a loved one, shattered relationships, or protracted sickness were all examples of stressors. They discovered that people who had a short form of a gene (the serotonin transporter gene) were more likely to be sad than people who had the long version of the same gene.
However, a more recent assessment of 14 studies found no evidence of a link between this short serotonin transporter gene and an increased risk of depression. As with schizophrenia, several distinct genes can predispose someone to depression, so the chances of discovering a single gene that causes it are slim.
Mania and depression are common symptoms of bipolar disorder. The person may have a lot of energy, feel highly “high,” be interested in a number of various things, and act very impulsively during the manic episodes.
The person may experience a lack of energy, melancholy, diminished interest in previously enjoyed activities, sleep issues, trouble focusing, and suicidal thoughts as they cycle from mania to depression.
Bipolar disease may be inherited, much like other mental illnesses, according to family and twin studies. The genes that enhance a person’s chance of schizophrenia may also increase the likelihood of bipolar illness, according to a fascinating study involving Swedish parents and their offspring.
Furthermore, a study comprising 550 instances of bipolar illness discovered a link between a mutation in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene with the disease. This gene variation has also been related to depression and schizophrenia.
People with Mental Disorders
Stigma, Prejudice, and Discrimination
More than half of those suffering from mental illness do not obtain treatment. People frequently avoid or postpone seeking treatment out of fear of being treated unfairly or losing their jobs and livelihood. This is due to the fact that stigma, prejudice, and discrimination toward those with mental illnesses are still prevalent.
Stigma, prejudice, and discrimination toward people with mental illnesses can be subtle or overt, but they all have the potential to do harm. People with mental illnesses are marginalized and discriminated against in a variety of ways but knowing how this happens and how to address and eliminate it can help.
Stigma is frequently the result of a lack of knowledge or fear. Both of these causes are aided by inaccurate or misleading media portrayals of mental illness. While the public may recognize the medical or genetic origins of a mental health issue and the necessity for treatment, many people still have a negative image of persons with mental illness, according to a review of studies on stigma.
Different Types of Stigma
Self-stigma refers to people’s unfavorable views toward their own disease, particularly internalized shame.
Others’ unfavorable or discriminating views about mental illness are referred to as public stigma.
Institutional stigma or workplace stigma is more systematic, encompassing government and private-sector practices that limit opportunities for persons with mental illnesses, whether purposefully or accidentally. Lower financing for mental illness research or less mental health services in comparison to other health care are two examples.
Getting Rid of Stigma
Knowing or having contact with someone who has a mental illness is one of the most effective methods to lessen stigma, according to research. Individuals who stand up and share their tales can make a difference. When we know someone who suffers from mental illness, it becomes less frightening and more genuine.
Start Your Recovery at an Ohio Mental Hospital
Your mental health and addiction problems did not arise out of nowhere. Your genetics, trauma, and addiction may have all played a role in your unique mental illness experience. And, with our mental health, detox, and dual diagnosis treatment programs, we’re ready to assist you in overcoming these hidden hazards to your health. Reach out to us today at Georgetown Behavioral Hospital.