The Importance of Knowing Your Family’s Mental Health History

mental health therapist in Charlotte, NCBeing diagnosed with a mental illness is a frightening thing. Often you are left with more questions than answers when you are first diagnosed. At Legacy Freedom we understand the anxieties and fears that are associated with a newly diagnosed mental illness.

We are here to support you and help you select the right holistic treatment plan for you with a highly skilled and qualified family mental health therapist in Charlotte, NC.

Many of our patients are left wondering how or why this happened to them. What many people do not realize, is that it is often your genes that determine if you are prone to having mental health issues. Someone who has family history of suicide, for instance, is 4-6 times more likely to suffer from depression and having suicidal thoughts than someone who doesn’t. Siblings who have brothers and sister with schizophrenia are 8 times more likely as the general public to have it or pass it to their kids.

People with mental health issues also tend to show abnormalities in chromosomes. For instance, individuals with schizophrenia, severe depression, bipolar disorder and autism show abnormalities in the chromosomes 3 and 10. Researchers are still working to identify chromosomal abnormalities in people who suffer from other illnesses like ADHD or ADD.

When you first visit a therapist, one of the very first questions they will ask is about your family’s mental health history. Your family history may be the key that helps your therapist understand the various illnesses or disorders that you're genetically prone to. Things like ADHD, depression bipolar, panic attacks, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, attempted or committed suicide will be of interest.

In cases of patients with ADHD, children are 75% more likely to inherit it from one if not both parents. Schizophrenia is 65 % and bipolar 59% and researchers are working to identify the rate at which major depression is handed down.

Ask your family if there have been any instances of mental illness outside of the family members whose health you are familiar with. Chances are that there have been issues that you were unaware of. Remember that talking about mental illness can be a sensitive issue for some people and utilizing your therapist to help you have these conversations is a good idea. Especially if you believe they will be difficult or confrontational.

It might not be a bad idea to start a family journal that can be passed on to future generations as well. Provide it with information about the family’s mental health, since it is for everyone’s best interest. This can be done online and it allows you to have access for routine updates and additions. Understanding your family’s mental health history is critical for your diagnosis and the diagnosis of your children, or other family members as well.

Understanding and sharing your mental illness with your family can have far reaching positive effects. Sometimes those in your family who need the most help may not be getting it for fear of being stereotyped by the family or shut out. Becoming a voice and advocate for your family’s mental health and well-being is very important and can encourage others to seek therapy for themselves.

Affordable Mental Health Therapist in Charlotte, NC | Legacy Freedom

At Legacy Freedom we understand the importance of choosing the right therapist for yourself and the therapy path that makes the most sense to you. Our holistic approach allows us to treat your mental illness as well as your whole being. Through our programs of nutritional and medication management your body will be ready to function at its best and our therapeutic clinicians and treatments will have your mind ready to heal. The time to start your journey is now. Give our Charlotte, NC office a call today.

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