General Article Does mental illness run in families?

Topic Selected: Mental Health
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This information may be useful if there is a history of mental illness in your family, and you are concerned that you may be also be affected. You may also find it useful if you have a mental illness yourself, and are concerned about the risk of your relatives having the same condition.

  • Some research does suggest that mental illness can run in families.
  • We do not fully understand what causes mental illness or why it can be passed on in family members.
  • Mental illness is probably passed on for a variety of factors, rather than just genes.
  • Although research might suggest that mental illness does run in families, it doesn’t mean you or a family member are inevitably going to become unwell.
  • You might have questions if you are thinking of starting a family.
  • There are things we can all do to look after our mental health.


What is the risk of mental illness running in my family?

If someone in your family has a mental illness, you might be worried about developing the condition...

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