Partners are selected on the symptoms ...?

Are there any special circumstances that affect the love relationship of people with mental disorders? Swedish researchers suggest an answer to this question.

Partners are selected on the symptoms ...?

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How do we choose partners? To a large extent - the similarity of habits, tastes and views. However, it is possible that this list will have to fill up even the similarity of symptoms. Anyway, when it comes to mental disorders. Such a conclusion is pushing extremely large-scale study undertaken by experts of the Swedish Karolinska Institute.

At the disposal of scientists was a database that includes information about 700 thousand inhabitants of Sweden, who in the period from 1973 to 2009 were diagnosed with at least one of the 11 most common mental disorders 1. Studying it, researchers have paid attention to an extremely characteristic fact: the spouses of people who suffered one or another mental disorder, are 2-3 times more likely to have been, and are themselves subject to disturbances. At the same time, those who had a psychiatric diagnosis is usually chose their mates who with the same diagnosis.

Scientists have tried to test does not apply if the same pattern and non-psychiatric disorders, but there is no significant they could not find a correlation. In other words, the people who suffer, for example, diabetes, or stomach ulcers, forming families, not necessarily preferred the same as themselves, diabetics and ulcer. But in regard to mental health law clearly holds. In any case, it refers to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia. "To sum up our work, we can say that patients with psychiatric disorders tend to form pairs with persons who are also susceptible to such disorders, - commented the results of the study's lead author, psychologist Nordsletten Ashley (Ashley Nordsletten). - Discovered our relationship too serious and obvious to find it a simple accident. "

The researchers still find it difficult to name specific mechanisms behind this strange regularity. However, it is possible that even now their work will help to answer some very important questions. Genetics has long been a problem of extraordinary "survivability" of such severe disorders such as schizophrenia. Since this disease leads to a reduced life expectancy, as well as reduces the reproductive functions, it would be logical to expect that from one generation to the percentage of suffering it must steadily decline. However, judging by the statistics, they do not. And perhaps, the reason lies precisely in the fact that people with schizophrenia tend to choose the same partner. Thus ensuring the reproduction of the disorder in the next generation.

1 A. Nordsletten et al. "Patterns of Nonrandom Mating Within and Across 11 Major Psychiatric Disorders". Online publication in JAMA Psychiatry site from 02.24.2016.