“Mental Illness and Familial Influences”


“Let us be clear that claims about established genetic or biochemical causation for mental distress are, as things stand, entirely fictional,” writes Dr Lucy Johnstone in the U.K. paper The Guardian.

The Guardian →

More from the article:

“An important source of confusion in the debate about the contribution of nurture to mental illness is the assumption that calling attention to environmental risk factors amounts to “blaming” parents. The scientific evidence on environmental determinants of psychosis (schizophrenia) has moved on considerably since the 1960s, so there is now compelling evidence that childhood trauma (including maltreatment and sexual abuse, easy separation from parents, and bullying by peers) plays an important role in what is undoubtedly a complex causal picture (see here for a summary of the evidence). This causal picture, of course, includes other risk factors such as genetic vulnerability.”