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Discoveries in genetics have helped change the way society looks at mental illnesses such as manic depression and schizophrenia A generation ago the leading theory about schizophrenia was that this devastating emotional and mental disorder was caused by cold and distant mothering itself the result of the mothers unconscious wish that her child had never been born A nation-wide lobbying effort was launched to combat such unfounded mother blaming and 20 years later that artifact of the Freudian era is entirely discredited Its widely accepted today that psychotic disorders are brain disorders probably with genetic roots Herbert 72 Just like every other topic in the genetics debates there are a few sides to the debate on the causes of mental disorders One side feels mental illnesses are caused purely by genetic inheritance and another feels they are caused by environmental factors A different side feels that it is a combination of the two The problem is that most people take a side that supports either genetics or environment when most cases are not only genetic but also environment Take this situation for example I have a thirteen year old friend who has been depressed a lot for the past few months maybe even a year Her mother recently decided to get her screened for depression Well they decided that she has a chemical imbalance in her brain that causes her to be depressed In other words shes depressed because genetically shes abnormal and that abnormality keeps her brain from making a certain chemical she needs to keep from being depressed The thing is thats not the only reason shes depressed Shes not very happy at home Her parents wont let her do anything which includes seeing her friends outside of school most of the time They made her work all summer in her stepfathers shop and almost didnt let her quit when school started Shes only allowed one phone call a day and it is
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