A Genetic Link Between Depression, Bipolar, Schizophrenia?

Here's what's happening on the HealthyPlace site this week:

Researchers have uncovered discovered common genetic risk factors of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Read about it on HealthyPlace.

A Genetic Link Between Depression, Bipolar, Schizophrenia?

Receiving a correct mental illness diagnosis is crucial for proper treatment. Unfortunately, because symptoms of many illnesses overlap and mental illness isn’t always straightforward, it can be hard to receive the correct diagnosis early. Often, people with mental illness experience a trial-and-error type of process, with doctors and patients working to figure out complex symptoms and match various treatment approaches to those symptoms. It can sometimes take years for a correct diagnosis to be made and the best treatment begun (Bipolar Misdiagnosis: Why It Happens So Frequently).

Researchers are trying to remedy this, and in the case of bipolar disorder and disorders involving psychosis, such as schizophrenia, they may have discovered a breakthrough that might lead to earlier identification and treatment. Scientists with iPSYCH, a psychiatric research project in Denmark, studied nearly 17,000 people with depression who had been treated in a psychiatric hospital between 1994 and 2016 and discovered common genetic risk factors of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. They studied people who had been diagnosed with depression because major depression often precedes other illnesses like bipolar and psychotic disorders.

While the findings are preliminary and the genetic link was small, the results are encouraging. They point to a possible genetic link between these mental illnesses that, if future studies confirm, can be used to identify someone’s risk of developing bipolar disorder or a psychotic disorder. This could lead to better detection and earlier treatment.


Aarhus University. (2020). One step closer to early diagnosis of bipolar disorder and psychoses. Science Direct. Retrieved September, 2020 from

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Your Thoughts

Today's Question: If you've ever been incorrectly diagnosed for any mental illness, how did that affect you? We invite you to participate by sharing your thoughts, knowledge, and experiences on the HealthyPlace Facebook page.


Parenting Stress During COVID-19 Times: I'm on the Edge - Facebook Live

Parenting stress is at sky high levels because of COVID-19. With the kids home all day, there's no time for work, rest, social connections. Our guest, Deena, says COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on her life. She has anxiety, depression, a strained marriage and money worries. We'll be talking to her on the HealthyPlace Facebook Live.

That's this Thursday, October 22. We start at 4p ET / 3 CT. Psychologist, Dr. Kristie Norwood, will also join us to share ideas on how to cope and deal with parenting stress. And, so you know, our guests always respond to your personal questions and comments.


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From the HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed. This month is National Suicide Prevention Month. See what our bloggers are talking about.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.


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APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2020, October 20). A Genetic Link Between Depression, Bipolar, Schizophrenia?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 20 from

Last Updated: October 20, 2020

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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