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Mental Health

What Can Genetic Testing Reveal About Your Mental Health?

Doctor explains genetic testing and mental health

Mental health concerns have a major impact on how people think, act, feel, and relate to others. Treatment plans for mental health issues typically include a variety of approaches. Genetic testing services can provide important medical information that helps people find the best treatments for their conditions.

Contact Illumination Mental Health today at 747.285.7504 for more information on genetic testing services.

What Are Genetic Testing Services?

Genetic testing has been used in clinical settings for over thirty years but has become a more widely used tool in the past decade or so. Simply put, genetic testing is a medical test that eliminates or confirms certain genetic conditions. It may also be used to determine a person’s likelihood of developing some disorders or diseases, like cancer.

Testers look for changes in genes, chromosomes, and proteins to discover important medical information and assess health concerns. There are many different brands and types of genetic tests, but only four broad categories, which are:

  • Targeted single variant
  • Single gene
  • Gene panel
  • Whole exome sequencing

Genetic tests examine the body’s DNA to reveal gene mutations that may indicate whether a person has inherited a certain illness or disease.

These tests are not always 100% accurate. However, many psychiatric disorders are linked to genetics and tend to run in families.

In addition to revealing the genetic markers for a disorder, testing may help narrow down a person’s drug therapy options. This could be a tremendous help in avoiding medication regimens that are ineffective or less effective than other options. However, this testing can only be done voluntarily with the informed consent of the person being tested.

Genetic Testing and Mental Health

Genetic testing and mental health go hand in hand. The more information an individual has about their mental health, the more complete their treatment plan can be. In that light, genetic testing can help those with mental health disorders and their healthcare professionals develop a more in-depth personalized treatment protocol.

Mental health disorders that can be identified with genetic testing include:

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Schizophrenia

Undergoing genetic testing can’t prevent mental health disorders from developing, but it does provide a number of benefits for health management.

Benefits of Genetic Testing Services for Mental Health

It’s estimated that one in six adults in the U.S. lives with a mental health issue, and the gap between the first signs of mental health concerns and treatment spans approximately 11 years. Imagine the pain of struggling with depression or bipolar disorder for more than a decade without proper treatment.

Though genetic testing can’t prevent mental health conditions, it could potentially prevent years of suffering, addiction caused by self-medicating, and self-harm.

Not only could genetic testing lead to faster and more accurate treatment for many people, but it could also do the following:

  • Relieve the stress and uncertainty of those whose parents have a mental health concern
  • Lead to healthier lifestyle choices that could delay or minimize symptoms
  • Provide educational opportunities
  • Reduce the rate of misdiagnosis

The effectiveness of genetic testing continues to improve with time, but it should be noted that testing still has limitations to overcome. DNA testing for psychiatric medications can be helpful, but no tests have an accuracy rate of 100%.

Contact Illumination Mental Health for Genetic Testing Services

Genetic testing services are part of the comprehensive care we provide residents at Illumination Mental Health. If you are concerned that you may have a genetic predisposition to certain mental disorders or have struggled with incorrect diagnoses and ineffective treatments, genetic testing may help.

Call Illumination Mental Health at 747.285.7504 for more information about our testing services.

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