A person’s mental health is vital to their overall sense of well-being and can oftentimes be challenged by everyday life. Mental disorders play a big part in mental health. Mental disorders can affect how a person thinks, feels, and even acts in every aspect of their life — such as their ability to work, interact in social gatherings, and cope with life events.

Researchers continue to study the causes of mental conditions so that they can provide the best treatment options possible. The National Institute of Mental Health has found that many disorders are caused by a combination of biological, psychological, environmental, and genetic factors. Early detection is ideal for exploring the best treatment options possible and early detection paves the way to help an individual get the support they need to prevent conditions from negatively impacting their life.

Exploring Your Mental Health Options

Stigmas around mental health are on the decline. What was once taboo is now understood for the serious medical concern that it is. Confirming mental disorders can be tricky, but some of the most common include:

  • Autism
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Major depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia

These disorders share similar symptoms, leading researchers to believe that they must share a common link, such as a genetic root. When it comes to determining your risk for developing a mental disorder, there are a few steps you can take:

  • Learn your family history. Exploring your family history can be a great source of information when uncovering your risk factors. Researchers know that on some level, many mental disorders are linked to genetic mutations. Your family history can show if certain disorders run in the family. If you have a close relative with a mental disorder, this could mean you are at a higher risk.
  • Talk with a mental health professional. A professional can help you understand any of your potential risk factors. They can answer your questions and help you discover what condition you could be experiencing. They can also provide you with tools of support as well.
  • See a genetic counselor. Genetic counseling can be beneficial for those who want to understand their health risks at a deeper level. A genetic counselor is a specially trained professional who can provide in-depth information about your genetic history and your risk of developing a mental health disorder or physical disorder. From there, genetic professionals can help you decide if genetic testing is a good option for you.

Taking Care of Your Mental Health

If you do worry you are at risk for developing a mental disorder or fear you are experiencing symptoms of one, it is always best to seek help sooner than later. A professional can help you interpret your symptoms and guide you toward the best next step. Medical professionals continue to learn more about the detailed relationship between genes and mental health, and genetic testing can help you at least understand your potential risks.