Are Mental Illnesses Genetic?


King Sora X

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Mar 31, 2008
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Okay, I know I've spent a few too many times posting threads in this section, but I'll just get to the point.

There has been a long chain of mental illnesses throughout my family tree, whether it’s a mild case of depression, Bi Polar, Schizophrenia or a combo of the three, I find myself wondering if I have any of the three. Okay, I get that everyone is Bi Polar in some form, cause we all get happy then sad one time or another. I also get that depression is common among teens and adults, but Schizophrenia could a whole different ball game.

Let me explain my reasoning for all this worrying. My grandma has a severe case of Schizophrenia, and multiple times it has prevented her from doing daily tasks such as working and other things like that. It even got her mind convincing her that my mom was trying to kill her one night she was staying with us(my mom, my sisters, and I). Of course this wasn’t true, but it got to the point where she called 911, and they pulled her(the her being my grandma) in the ambulance.

Now, my worry comes from the fact that I might have Schizo. I know I shouldn’t jump to any conclusions until I get evaluated by a professional, but my actions in the last year has pointed to mild Schizo. These actions include no drive for anything, very low productivity, and just a total “blah” mood at random moments. Also, I find myself being happy one moment, and then just totally gloomed out the next.

So, this is why I ask if Mental Illnesses are genetic.

Thanks in advance for actually taking the time to read this.


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Sep 17, 2007
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As a general rule of thumb, it's not a case of black-and-white absolutes. Not all mental illnesses are purely environmental, not all of them are purely genetic. It's a mix wherein some genes can render you predisposed to developing a mental illness. Also, for some people around your age it can be an incredibly stressful time when they're concluding study or moving into the workforce and generally feel like they're having to worry about/decide on what they'll do with their lives.


i'm gonna be
Dec 28, 2005
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Mental illnesses vary. I know schizophrenia has a tendency to repeat in future generations... it increases by just a bit, I believe. Bipolar and depression can also be that way. but as Orion said, it depends on the environment as well.

Also, all the symptoms that you think indicate schizophrenia can very well just be depression. A lot of symptoms present in other illnesses are similar to schizophrenia, such as lack of motivation, depression, and low social activity. Think of it this way: you probably won't know you have schizophrenia until you actually get it. And even then, you still won't know. My half brother has it and he believes he is 100% fine. In fact, some schizophrenics have a fear of going crazy. If it bothers you that much, see a psychiatrist/psychologist.