What mental illnesses are inherited?
Are mental illnesses inherited? This question worries many parents. It is very scary to “reward” your child with a mental disorder.
How are mental illnesses transmitted?
The fact that mental illness can be inherited has been noticed a long time ago. Today, genetics confirm: indeed, mental disorders are more likely to appear in a child in a family where a relative suffered from a similar ailment. And the reason for this is a violation in the structure of genes.
There is such a thing as a coefficient of hereditary risk. The higher this coefficient, the higher the likelihood that the child will inherit the illness of relatives.
Only some mental diseases are directly dependent on breakdowns in the genes, for example, Huntington’s chorea, whose hereditary risk coefficient is 5000. For comparison, a mental illness such as schizophrenia has a value of 9.
Mental disorders are often caused by a combination of hereditary predisposition and external causes: traumatic brain injuries, traumatic events, personal tragedies, intrauterine injuries, intoxications, etc. This means that even if relatives suffered from a mental disorder, the child will not necessarily inherit their disease.
How does the degree of kinship affect hereditary diseases?
The risk of developing a mental illness depends on the degree of relationship with a sick family member and on the number of sick relatives.
Rosstroy psyche caused by a hereditary predisposition
The greatest likelihood of transmission of the disease in identical twins, then comes the kinship of the 1st degree (parents, children, brothers, sisters). For relatives of the 2nd degree of kinship, the risk is significantly reduced
So, with schizophrenia present in mother and father, the probability of its occurrence in children is 46%, if one parent is sick – about 13%, grandfather or grandmother – 5%.
What mental illnesses are inherited most often?
1. Disorders of the mental development of children
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is manifested by impulsivity, difficulty concentrating, and increased motor activity. Often this disorder is combined with depressive states, behavioral disorders.
Dyslexia – the inability to read, to compare what is written with speech in some cases is hereditary.
Autism is a severe mental disorder expressed in violation of social adaptation. The autistic child is closed, he does not want to communicate with the outside world, exists in his personal space. He does not tolerate any changes, he has his own rituals, which he strictly observes. He constantly repeats stereotypical movements (rocking, bouncing) or the same phrases.
Usually the diagnosis of autism is made in the first three years of a child’s life.
It is believed that the role of heredity in the occurrence of this disease is great.
Broken attention may be related to mental disorders.
This is a mental illness characterized by disturbances in thinking, perception of the world, inappropriate behavior and an abnormal reaction to stimuli. The disease can be accompanied by agitation, delirium, hallucinations. Patients are prone to depression and prone to suicide.
As a rule, the onset of the disease occurs between the ages of 20-22 to 30 years.
Heredity plays a significant role in the onset of this disease, but other factors also acquire no less importance: complications during gestation, difficult childbirth, infections, severe psycho-emotional situations, and even birth in winter.
3. Affective bipolar disorder
Otherwise, this mental illness is called manic-depressive psychosis. It proceeds with an alternation of phases: depression and agitation, sometimes with aggression. Between these phases, gaps of enlightenment are possible.
Mobility and Arousal
4. Alzheimer’s disease
This disease develops after 65 years and is expressed first in oblivion, difficulty concentrating. Then there is confusion, a loss of orientation in space. Irritability, unmotivated aggression appear, speech is disturbed. Dementia develops.
Quite rarely, the disease begins earlier, and here the hereditary factor, the pathological gene, plays a significant role.
Other inherited mental illnesses:
feline scream syndrome;
All of these mental illnesses can be inherited. At the same time, they may appear in a family where no one has suffered from such disorders. True, the risk of the disease in this case is less, but it exists. So, getting schizophrenia in a completely “healthy” family is possible with a probability of 1%.
If there is a risk
Many people are afraid to pass on hereditary diseases to their children (even if distant relatives suffered from them), especially mental disorders, and therefore prefer to refuse to give birth to a child.