Day 6: Do you have a family history of mental illness or mental health issues?
I touched on this in yesterday’s prompt (Collision) discussing that my mother and I shared similar issues with anxiety. Although mum has no formal diagnosis and is naturally an introvert, rather than an extrovert. I know that insomnia is a shared genetic condition, as I have experienced it and so has my mother. We have both received medication to alleviate the symptoms of it.
My grandmother’s sister, who I called Aunty D, never really recovered from the loss of her fiance in a motorcycle accident. I remember visiting her home and it always had an air of sorrow about it. The house was often dark with the curtains closed even during the day. I know that my brother suffered overwhelming grief at the loss of his young daughter and sought counselling to help him make sense of that loss.
My brother’s, mine and Aunty D’s experience could provide the basis for an argument that depression runs in my family. Equally, both their responses could be seen as normal and my having PTSD increased the depressive response I demonstrate. I believe in this instance knowing context is more important than familial connections.
If you look for a genetic link for evidence of potential mental illnesses then you will find them. Most of my discussion has been about informal connections of observed behaviour to potential mental illness. Other than myself, few family members have clinical diagnoses, that I know of. Overall, mental health issues that were short term and resolved is more prevalent in my family than long term mental health diagnoses and treatment.