Major Depression and Autism

Mental illness crowds our family. Depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder visit four out of five of us. Consider my side:

A neurological link must exist. Medication manages mental illness, though it does not cure it. In our family, autism and mental illness coincide. Could the neurology of autism and the chemical differences of mental illness be a heritable state? A population variation much like our physical differences?

Psychologist’s definitions of personality stigmatize. If who we are is a natural process created by genetic and environmental factors, we could relabel “personality disorders” as archetypes. Each archetype a biological strategy birthed by brain structure. For those who struggle, this is excellent news.  You could learn new ways of doing things while maintaining your specific, adaptive gifts. Don’t change the gestalt of You. Decide your path with tools. An innately human thing to do.

The article that inspired my musing:

Psychiatric disorder and the broad autism phenotype: evidence from a family study of multiple-incidence autism families.

Piven J, Palmer P.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City 52242-1000, USA.


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