The good news here is that it doesn’t mean for certain you will “Inherit” anything, it just means some mental health problems are more likely to be passed down in a family. This list isn’t here to scare anyone, it is supposed to be a list of answers because some people develop some of these mental health issues from seemingly nowhere and this list might be the answer they are looking for…
While most people don’t see a phobia of something as a mental health problem I can assure you it is. When you see your parents react to something like a snake, spider or any of the other phobias you are bound to accept that this is how you should react. While you can try and get over your phobias it is something most people simply learn to live with.
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
If you have been experiencing symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness you might well have ADHA and sadly it is something whole family can suffer from. While it does tend to be easier to spot in younger children you can still start to suffer from the symptoms at just about any age. Most the time it is passed to children born close together, but as I said, you can still develop signs at any age.
Sadly this is one of the most common mental health problems people inherit and it can be one of the most crippling. People say a yawn is contagious, but so is feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness when they are experienced in a close family. Sadly it often happens like a domino effect, with one person feeling the symptoms of depression, then other people in the same family feeling down because they do. While it is not impossible to break this pattern it is harder in some families.
This condition is sadly one that will be with you for life and it affects everyone in different ways. While it does tend to be passed down from men to boys it can be passed down by any family member and even skip a few generations. While I won’t go into all the signs to keep an eye out for the main ones are difficulties with social communication and interaction. Again this can be something learned by the child when younger.
Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression)
This is probably not something people will want to hear, but sadly it has been proven to be passed down through several generations of families. This can be one of the most life crippling conditions due to the severity of the symptoms with periods of manic depression and then hyperactive excitement lasting days and sometimes weeks at a time. There is no age limit, no particular sex preference and it can skip several generations of people for seemingly no reason at all. If you do have a close family member suffering from the same thing it might help you learn to live with it a little faster, but mostly it is something you will simply learn to live with (like most the other mental health conditions on this list).
Out of all the conditions mentioned in this list, this is probably the worse one. With a wide range of different psychological symptoms, it can be as bad as someone not being able to distinguish their own thoughts and ideas from reality. If both your parents suffer from schizophrenia (which is very rare) you have as high as a 50% chance you will suffer from the same problem and that makes it one of the most prolific inherited conditions on this list.
OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)
While it doesn’t have to come from genetic reasons it is one of those disorders that has been proven to be hereditary. Maybe it is because it is a sort of unhealthy coping mechanism making it a common learned behaviour that makes it so inherited. Whatever the reason, it can be much more severe than you might think and can even be as life-altering as bipolar disorder.
While some people will develop this disorder via genetic inheritance it can also develop on its own for seemingly no reason before. While numbers of this disorder are rising it is often put down to more and more people being aware of the symptoms. If you are experiencing high-stress levels and social panic attacks this might be the reason.
There are many names for this disorder from Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia nervosa or Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID). Whatever you have it might well be inherited rather than something you have developed yourself. Sure, there is a wide combination of factors that people need to take into account, but one of the more apparent is genetic.
While you might be thinking drugs and alcohol there are many other things people can become mentally addicted to which include gambling, self-harm and even simple tobacco. When the child sees the parent suffering from the addictions they will also see the parent become happier when they receive the thing they are addicted to. This “learned response” can be also ignored, but sadly it commonly goes the other way.
Like I said at the start of this post. It is important to remember you might not ever develop any of these things just because a family member does. But it is always good to know what other people in your family have or are suffering with so you can not only get advice from them if you start to experience similar, but you can also support them if they are still going through it.