Essay on The Genetics Of Mental Illness : Implications For Practice

790 Words 4 Pages
For well over a century, scientists and doctors alike have searched exhaustively for the root cause of mental illness. Despite their research, a universally accepted model for how psychiatric disorders originate has yet to be created. However, there are an abundance of theories regarding the matter. Steven Hyman, the former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, and Charles Schmidt, an award-winning science journalist, are just two examples of respected individuals who hold differing opinions as to the primary cause of mental illness. While Hyman argues that genetics are the principal factor that determines whether or not a person will develop a mental illness, Schmidt proposes that environmental factors are the leading element behind psychiatric illness. Although the historical standard for those in the mental health community has been to side with one of these hypotheses exclusively, I believe that both theories are, in fact, congruent with one another. Firstly, let us examine Hyman 's statement in his article “The Genetics of Mental Illness: Implications for Practice,” that, “It is well established that the risk of mental illness runs in families.” Utilizing a variety of reputable sources to substantiate his assertions, Hyman explains in great detail how DNA is ultimately responsible for the assembly and, subsequently, operation of the human brain. Continuing, he emphasizes how mutations in genes can result in the brain being constructed or functioning in…

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