Episode 10: Is Mental Illness Hereditary or Environmental?

Episode 10: Is Mental Illness Hereditary or Environmental?

Episode Description:

Is Mental Illness Hereditary or Environmental? breaks down where heredity ends and environment begins in determining or contributing to who experiences mental illness. This episode explains the complex biological, psychological, and hereditary factors that can contribute to or predispose anyone to mental health issues. One adverse factor doesn't guarantee you'll have mental health problems, any more than one positive factor guarantees not having them. 

Then, we discuss how adverse childhood experiences (ACE) can contribute to mental illness. Two people in the same environment may be impacted differently, and nothing be wrong with either one of them. Some people are more naturally sensitive than others. We discuss how all these factors come together, combined with the unique traits of the individual, to determine whether a person experiences mental health issues.

Breakdown of Episode:
2:05 Introduction: The Roots of Mental Illness
5:50 Is Mental Illness Hereditary or Environmental?
9:34 How Complex Factors Come Together to Create Mental Illness
19:46 More on the Roots of Mental Illness

 Bulleted List of Resources

  • Causes of Mental Illness, Web MD

This article distinguishes the complex factors that can cause or trigger mental illness in an individual. Some involve predispositions, and some are environmental.

  • "Is Mental Illness Hereditary?" Huff Post
    You should be able to find this link with a quick Google search. Link is long.

This article explains how much heredity contributes to mental health issues. It continues with how adverse childhood experiences (ACES) scores and factors contribute to mental health issues based on a famous and extensive study.

  • ACES Quiz

This is the actual ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences Study) test that can help you see how you score on the ACES scale. Please note that this does not define your mental health risk, but it is just an indicator among many factors. 

  • HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) Quiz

There are several tests online, Google them, take a couple of them, and see the results.

This test will help you determine if you're a Highly Sensitive Person, which is a scientific term for a person who tends to be more highly sensitive in many ways (which is neither good nor bad, nor a predisposition for mental illness). 

  • Diathesis Stress Model Wikipedia 

This model shows how the correlation between complex factors like hereditary and environmental predispositions combined with external stressors play a role in mental health conditions. 

  • The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine Aron

This book helped me a lot. If you're an HSP, it wi