Restorations Therapy Blog

Genetics: An Association Between Childhood Problems and Mood Disorders in Adulthood

by on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020

Genetics is the study of inherited traits and hereditary, which is passed on from parents to their offspring. Research finds that genetics directly relate to social, emotional, and psychiatric problems in childhood, and may lead to mood disorders in adulthood.

         Although mood disorders in adulthood often occur due to emotional and behavioral problems in childhood, it is still unclear exactly what causes this association. However, a study conducted at the University of Queensland found that there is a link between higher levels of genetic vulnerability for adult mood disorders, such as depression, in those individuals who experienced problematic childhoods.

The Most Common Mood Disorders

Major depression is characterized by feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and lessened interest in usual hobbies, which occur for at least two weeks.

Bipolar disorder is a condition that leads a person to experience alternating moods between depression and mania.

Dysthymia is a chronic depressive or irritable state that lasts for at least two years.

Substance-induced mood disorder includes depression-like symptoms due to the effects of toxin exposure, medicine, or substance abuse of alcohol or drugs.

Mood disorders influenced medical conditions, including chronic illnesses, cancer, injuries, or infections, which may trigger depression-like symptoms.

The Study and Its Findings

         The researchers analyzed genetic data of over 42,000 adolescents and children, finding that about 50% of this population with psychiatric problems continued to experience mental disorders into adulthood. Thus, these individuals were more at risk of emotional and social issues, including complete disengagement with school, work, or family. Conversely, participants in the study with higher emotional wellbeing and educational successes had reduced problems in childhood. Thus, the study’s findings suggest that there is a connection between childhood and adult traits, which may be moderately explained by genetic risk factors.

Are You Seeking Help?

         What happens to us in our childhood spills over into adulthood. If we experience social problems, emotional trauma, or psychiatric issues during childhood and adolescence, it may impact us in detrimental ways as we grow into adults. Studies continue to show that genetics and childhood experiences directly relate to mood disorders later in life. Mood disorders such as depression lead to difficulties in dealing with daily life and may lead to self-medication with drugs or alcohol, and subsequent substance use disorders. If you or someone you know is looking for help, call us today at (720) 446-6585.  

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