General, Research, Technology

Are opposites really attracted? Scientists believe no

Surely you have heard more than once thatopposites are literally attracted to each other. Especially when it comes to those very characters who cannot stand each other - screenwriters, for example, are very fond of creating movie plots based on this assumption. However, reality paints a completely different picture - according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry, genetic similarities can determine who your partner will be, especially if your partner and you have a general mental disorder.

It turned out that general or similar mental disorders attract potential partners

Genetic similarity and mental illness

The study involved 707,263 citizensSweden. All subjects had at least one mental illness: ADHD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism spectrum disorders, and others. The study also examined individuals with physical ailments - diabetes, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and so on. Five healthy subjects acted as a control group for one person suffering from a physical or mental illness.

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The scientists then tracked romantic relationships.between subjects for 18 months. It turned out that people with mental disorders were more likely to choose a person with a mental disorder as a partner. Slightly more often, partners shared a similar disease. Meanwhile, the results do not mean that if the partners have the same mental disorder, then they are compatible. According to the publication Wired, in the past only a few studies studied the correlation of partners at the diagnosis level. In addition, research methods were based on small samples of volunteers and their stories about themselves.

Researchers warn that the results of their work should not be taken literally

Since many Swedish couples live together, notgetting married, the study focused on people who were either married or had children. As the researchers write in their work, giving birth to a baby was almost the only viable way to determine if couples are really “compatible”. Given that the study focuses on people with genetically related mental disorders, the psychiatric future of these children is a really interesting topic for future research.

What do you think about the results of this study - do opposites really not attract each other? Let's talk about this in the comments and with the participants of our Telegram chat

One way or another, the authors hope thatthe results will help clarify the transmission of mental disorders from parents to children and enable caregivers to better deal with these often obscure conditions.