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The Stress Vulverability Model

The ‘STRESS – VULNERABILITY’ hypothesis.

Uncategorized . 3 minutes read . November 24, 2022

‘STRESS – VULNERABILITY’ hypothesis.
Many people ask the question, do we inherit mental illnesses?
The answer is ‘Yes’ and ‘No’.

Research suggests some mental illnesses have a genetic predisposition, or some people may be vulnerable due to environmental factors.  That is where science helps to understand who you are.  
Does it mean someone with a higher vulnerability will get a mental illness? Not unless there is exposure to the recipe that creates one for you.
Where is this recipe?  It is called the STRESS – VULNERABILITY’ hypothesis.

Your VULNERABILITY comes from your genes.From well-accepted evolutionary theory, you are your genetic makeup (your parents, parents’ parents, and the list goes on) and your environment. So your genetic vulnerability is there. The environment is your developmental aspect. How you were brought up from birth, your experiences of good and evil, the influence of friends, good and bad etc., accumulate over the years and have a long list. Simply the environmental impact is much more significant than we realise.

Your STRESS comes from your environment.

A particular environmental situation triggers your vulnerable genes to become active, and as a result, your brain cell neurons (nerve cells) start firing differently, changing chemical-based communication between neurons. Then gradually, you may change your behaviours, relationships, and motivation without noticing and realising what is happening around you. These changes manifest in erratic and irrational behaviour, and you deviate from your everyday personality style and role functioning. At this point, your brain starts to play up big time with mood changes and abnormal perceptions. For example, you feel and act superpowers, hear voices when no one is around and see things that are not there. These experiences can be frightening and harmful. This leads to psychosis, such as Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorders with manic and depressive episodes.

How to create a winning recipe?

You may have a genetic vulnerability. However, if you are fortunate enough to grow up in a safe, happy environment, whatever stress comes your way is manageable with problem-solving and family and friends’ support. It is unlikely that your brain chemicals will change to the level of turning you into a person you are not.

So, it is all in the genes and the environment. So, we wish you a perfect recipe for gene-environmental balance.

Genes, you cannot do much.
Can we change the environment?
Well, we will talk about it in our next communication…


Introducing new treatment modalities

At Mind Connections Specialist Health Services we offer advanced, modern, non-medication therapy for our patients. You or your family and friends may benefit from rTMS. If you have low mood and medication does not work for you, here is the flyer to take to your next GP visit. Discuss rTMS as an alternative option for you