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Family History Of Psychiatric Disorders Can Cause Relapses, Disorder

July 7, 2009

People that have a family history of depression, alcohol and drug abuse may not only inherit these conditions, but are inclined to suffer worse from the disorders and need further treatment, a study announced.

In a 30-year study conducted in New Zealand, researchers watched 981 people from age three to age 32, and gathered information on their psychiatric states as well as their family members.

Four psychiatric issues were investigated: depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug dependence, they stated in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.

Although it is known that family history influences the probability of an individual contracting one of these conditions, this study wanted to find out how acutely they were influenced by it.

The study noted that participants with a family history of these disorders had more relapses and they had more trouble caused to their lives, families, friends and work.

“Family history was associated with greater service use for all four disorders (but not significantly for anxiety disorders),” the researchers stated.

“Among those with depression, anxiety disorder, alcohol dependence and drug dependence, a family history screen may help determine whose illness will recur, whose illness will cause the greatest impairment and who will be the most likely to use treatment resources,” they wrote.

“Family history may identify a subgroup in need of primary or early intervention, and for whom treatments appropriate for recurrent, highly disabling disorder may be needed.”

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