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Saturday, January 20, 2018

“Scientists have shown that mentally ill people are attracted to their own kind”

People with any mental disorder, choosing a life partner, most likely will focus on who has the same characteristics of mind. This is the conclusion a group of scientists from Sweden, who published their work in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

photo: Natalia Gubernatorova

In recent years, many studies do not confirm the conventional wisdom that, when it comes to romantic relationships, opposites attract. Different scientists came to the conclusion that people often see as their ideal pair those who like them. In this case we can talk about a variety of aspects of these similarities, ranging from the growth with the weight and finishing with education, income and character. New research shows that promotes romantic feelings and similar mental health status, reports scientificamerican.com.

Experts have turned to an anonymous database containing social and medical information on all residents of Sweden. After collecting data on more than 700 thousand people from 1973 to 2009. They were interested in people whose psychiatrists were diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, autistic spectrum disorders, anorexia nervosa, drug or alcohol abuse, attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity, obsessive-compulsive disorder, major depressive disorder, social phobia, agoraphobia or generalized anxiety disorder.

Determining which of the people in the database suffered from various mental disorders, scientists have found which of them were married and what was the mental state of their husbands. The researchers emphasize that during their research they studied exclusively heterosexual couples. To check your own data, the researchers also examined the family ties of some mentally healthy people in Sweden.

As it turned out, people with mental health problems significantly more often chose their husbands or wives of those who also suffered from similar problems. To some extent this trend was evident regardless of the specific diagnosis — mentally ill people are often married to each other than those who were healthy. However, in most cases a specific mental disorder partners coincide, that is, people with schizophrenia have found a few with schizophrenia, and not, say, with depression. Moreover, further study of this issue showed that spouses of mentally ill persons in two-three times more likely to have diagnosed mental health problems than those who are married to a healthy partner.

Experts suggest two alternative explanations for his discovery: on the one hand, it is likely that people are initially attracted to a partner with similar features of behavior, on the other, it is possible that mental problems arise from one person under the influence of the second during the joint lives.


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