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some things are genetic..eye color, cancer, certain disorders, ...but do you think that certain mental illnesses are genetic? What about people who have extreme mental illness and do sick sick things..murder, rape? can that be genetic?

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Asked by shay1130 at 8:05 AM on Aug. 26, 2010 in Parenting Debate

Level 27 (32,809 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • I think it can.

    My father is mentally ill, he is a paranoid schizo & a sociopath. BUT, now that he is in his elder years, he meditates & goes to church all the time, I will say he has taken a lot more control of himself & really seems to be improving. Well...both my brother & sister also suffer from mental illness. My sister is severely paranoid. There is always someone following her (in her mind), not kidding. My brother, is a megalomaniac (mental illness characterized by delusions of grandeur, power) and is also a schizo. they both have been diagnosed. I guess i lucked out. Glad i skipped the psycho gene. But, it definitely runs in our family for sure. I worry about my DD sometimes, because her fathers side of the family has mental illness aswell! Scary! So far, she seems pretty normal. But, my brother & sister seemed normal until their later teen years. It took a while for it to show.

    Answer by samurai_chica at 8:20 AM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • Mental Disorders have been said to be genetic, but I think the jury may still be out on that. But even if they are there are ways to treat the illness and be aware so you don't let the illness take over.

    Answer by Finkette at 8:28 AM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • I do think it can. I dont think the actions themselves (rape, murder) are genetic, but the propensity to not have self control or to have mental disorders that can lead a person to do those things can be inherited.

    Answer by smushy79 at 8:50 AM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • Yes, there are mental illnesses that can be genetic - depression, for one. But, just because something runs in your family doesn't mean that you will have it. It's sort of like diabetes or heart disease. It can run in families, but as long as you're aware of it, and stay on top of your health (whether physical, mental, or emotional), then.... My mom has suffered from depression. I do not. My fil has had high cholesterol and diabetes (and his dad died of a heart attack). My 38 yr old dh doesn't have a bit of a problem with any of that.

    I agree with smushy - you can have a genetic disposition to an illness, but your environment (upbringing, who you are, how you have learned to cope, etc), is more of a determining factor in how you respond to it, and how you handle it (if it comes up in you), and if you allow it to make you a criminal or not.

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 9:13 AM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • There are some disorders that are genetic (schizophrenia runs in families). I think other times the child is predisposed to certain personality disorders, but it doesn't necessarily mean they will develop them. So much has to do with how the child is raised, I would think that a child born to someone with an untreated personality disorder would be much more likely to develop one that a child who isn't.

    Answer by Scuba at 9:20 AM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • I absolutely believe that they are genetic. Many and I mean many people in my family suffer from the same mental illness. Some are diagnosed and others aren't. The ones that aren't refuse to believe that they have a problem or that they are the problem. All of this is on the same side of the family. So, yes, genetic.

    Answer by coala at 9:35 AM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • I think it's absolutely possible. It's been studied a lot and has often shown that some disorders tend to run in families.

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 10:57 AM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • Disorders can run in the family, but to rape o murder that`s from the way umighthav been raised. my brother murdered a lady in 07, not and exusce forhow he was raised but e do have some mental illness in our family. my brothr didn`t have any signs at all just out of the blue but we were raised in a voilent family

    Answer by butterflysmom at 1:09 PM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • There are lots of studies that say they are.

    Answer by urkiddingright at 2:23 PM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • Certain mental illness are genetic, but I don't know if they all are.

    Answer by HotMama330 at 5:05 PM on Aug. 26, 2010

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