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Genetic Testing For Better Mental Health

The London Psychiatry Centre / Treatments / Genetic Testing For Better Mental Health

Genetic Testing For Better Mental Health

Preventive and genetic stress prediction and management service.

Imagine if there was a health test that could let you know how you react to stress. Being under stress increases your risk of mental and physical illnesses. At The London Psychiatry Centre we are now offering genetic testing which allows you to discover if you are predisposed to psychiatric conditions and or physical conditions and we can advise you how to modify your lifestyle to manage and reduce that risk.

Psychiatry is moving rapidly towards a direction which focuses on trying to clarify the genetics behind serious mental health conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. However, mental disorders are incredibly complex and caused by a multitude of factors. The role genetics plays is still actively being researched but the available evidence shows that family history remains the single most significant evidence that mental disorders may be inherited. Although, family history does not reliably predict what type of mental disorder is inherited.

Environmental factors, influences from the environment and surroundings we live in, also play a key role. Genetic testing, when analysed in tandem with lifestyle and environmental factors, can play an important part in helping us understand whether we may be susceptible to stress and subsequently mental health conditions and so enable us take action to modify any relevant lifestyle and environmental factors in order to help prevent such disorders.

This approach builds on the fact that genes are not our destiny and that there are things we can do to limit or alter the possible impact of genetic predisposition. Led by esteemed Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Okocha, the preventive service we offer aims to draw on proactive management and individualised advice.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer our patients this evidence-based preventative service which can potentially change lives.” Dr Okocha comments.

+ - Is mental illness hereditary? If I have a family history of serious mental illness will I get it?

Is mental illness genetic? Most people who have mental illness won’t have relatives with the same condition, but research does suggest mental illness runs in families. As a result of the complex interplay between genetics and the environment and the fact that these factors differ from person to person it follows that just because an individual possesses a certain genetic risk factor, it does not mean that they are destined to go on and develop a mental disorder. There is emerging evidence that life experiences add molecular switches to the genes that control our brain activity and so affect how susceptible we are to different forms of mental disorders like depression, anxiety and drug addiction. The genetic testing for mental health service provided by The London Psychiatry Centre allows you to make preemptive adjustments to your life and environment to reduce your risk of mental illness.

+ - What are lifestyle and environmental factors?

Lifestyle and environmental factors are influences – outside of genetics – that may have an impact on your risk of developing a mental health condition.

Lifestyle factors that may impact mental health include:

  • Being overworked
  • Smoking
  • Poor diet
  • Poor sleep
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Drugs, whether prescription or non prescription use
  • Poor physical health

Environmental factors that may affect mental health:

  • Lack of social support
  • Water, air and/or electrical pollution
  • Natural disasters
  • Traumatic events
  • History of abuse
  • Poverty
  • Exposure to toxins in childhood
  • Extreme weather conditions
  • Hazardous work conditions

Are you at risk of a serious mental health condition like clinical depression or bipolar disorder?

To find out more about genetic testing for mental health, or to book an appointment, give us a call on 020 7580 4224 today.