Dr Bryon Mcquirt

Dr. Bryon McQuirt

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Bryon McQuirt

Last Updated on:
April 24, 2024

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At Peachtree Wellness Solutions in Atlanta, GA, we offer genetic testing for mental illness that helps determine which types of medications will provide maximum benefit to our patients.

It has long been established that genetic factors can contribute to a person’s risk for developing anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. In recent years, mental health experts have developed a better understanding of the effect genetics can have on a person’s response to mental health medications. 

You are not alone. You deserve to get help.

Peachtree Wellness is an industry leader in mental health treatment. Our team of top medical experts specialize in dual diagnosis treatment and are committed to ensuring that each patient is treated as an individual. Call us today, we’re available 24/7.

What Is Genetic Testing For Mental ILlness?

The term genetics refers to the study of how personality traits and other characteristics are passed from parents to their children. 

As explained by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, this information is stored in our genes. In addition, they are attached to molecules called deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA. 

DNA, in turn, is stored in structures called chromosomes. Human cells typically have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Interestingly enough, children receive half of their chromosomes from their father and half from their mother.

Genetic testing for mental illness, which is also commonly referred to as DNA testing, involves the scientific analysis of a person’s DNA. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), genetic testing can take several forms.

Forms of Genetic Testing We Offer in Atlanta

  • Single gene testing: As the name implies, this type of genetic testing examines only one specific gene. These tests are typically conducted to determine if a person has inherited a genetic mutation that can cause a disease or disorder.
  • Panel testing: These tests focus on multiple genes within a particular category. Panel testing can help scientists assess a person’s risk for certain types of cancer and other conditions.
  • Large-scale testing: Large-scale genetic tests may involve examinations of every gene that is stored within a DNA strand. Or, they may involve the entirety of a person’s DNA.

Our genetic testing for mental illness is a type of panel test. However, instead of trying to identify a person’s risk for a disease, disorder, or syndrome, our genetic testing focuses on evaluating how well a patient will respond to certain psychiatric medications.

How Our Genetic Testing for Mental Illness In Atlanta works

Genetic testing at our center in Atlanta, GA begins with two quick and painless cheek swabs to collect a DNA sample.

The professional who collects your sample will lightly rub a cotton-tipped swab against the inside of your cheek. This will be done twice, with a different swab each time. Your direct involvement in this DNA test is limited to the few minutes it takes to complete this process.

Once your DNA sample has been collected and secured, it will be sent to a lab for analysis. 

In a few days, your treatment team at Peachtree Wellness Solution will receive a report from the lab. This report will include a list of several medications that are often used to treat depression and other mental health disorders. 

The report will identify which of these medications are likely to be most beneficial to you at the recommended dosage level. In addition, it will identify the medications whose effects may be diminished due to your genetic makeup.

A member of your treatment team will review this report with you. From there, they will explain the data that it includes, and answer any questions you may have. Your team will use the information in your genetic test report to determine which medication and which dosage level are most likely to yield a positive result for you.

Of course, genetic testing for mental illness is just one of many factors that your team will use to assess the effectiveness of any medications you receive. Your team will monitor your progress throughout your time in our care. Also, they will encourage you to discuss any positive or negative effects that you experience.

Working together, you and your team can ensure that you receive maximum benefit from the medications, therapies, and other services that are included in your personalized treatment plan. 

Who is a Good Candidate for Genetic Testing?

Genetic testing addresses specific mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It can be useful for those questioning a mental health disorder. Genetic testing can help these people who are new to a specific treatment to determine at a faster pace what medication is right for them. This potentially helps them avoid the pitfalls of medication resistance or a plateau down the road. 

Can DNA Testing Diagnose Mental health Issues?

Genetic tests can identify certain genetic variants that might increase the risk for some mental health conditions. However, they can’t conclusively diagnose these conditions. Furthermore, even if a genetic predisposition is identified, it cannot predict the onset, severity, or course of a mental health disorder.

Is Genetic Testing for Mental Health Effective?

Yes, genetic testing for mental health has proven to be highly effective in the aid of treating mental health disorders. According to a study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they have developed a model for evaluating these specific tests. This model evaluates based on clinical effectiveness, and the implications it may have. As such, the CDC has recommended this testing for specific psychiatric drugs and has included information about it on drug labels. 

Types of Mental Health Disorders Our Genetic Testing in Atlanta, GA Treats

Genetic testing for mental illness at Peachtree Wellness in Atlanta, GA can assess the suitability of several types of medications that may be used to treat a variety of mental health concerns, such as the ones described below:

Anxiety Disorders

The symptoms of anxiety disorders can include extreme fear, excessive worry, and physical distress. The general category of anxiety disorders includes social phobia, selective mutism, separation anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and panic disorder.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is characterized by dramatic swings in mood, energy level, and affect. The most common types of bipolar disorder are bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, and cyclothymic disorder. 

Depressive Disorders

People who struggle with depressive disorders may experience pervasive sadness, lack of energy, disrupted sleep, and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. Common types of depression include major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, and postpartum depression.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

The lives of people who have OCD may be disrupted by intrusive, unwanted thoughts and distressing behavioral urges. 

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD can occur in the aftermath of one or more traumatic experiences. People who develop PTSD may experience flashbacks, episodes of depersonalization and derealization. In addition, they can experience intense fear, terror, guilt, insomnia, and a loss of faith in themselves and the world around them.


Schizophrenia can undermine a person’s ability to correctly perceive their environment, express themselves, and interact with others. It can also cause hallucinations, delusions, disrupted thought and speech patterns, and catatonic behavior. 

Begin Your Genetic Testing for Mental iLlness Today

If you’re suffering from mental health disorders, completing a genetic test at our center in Atlanta, GA can be an essential step toward improved health. Identifying the right medication and determining the optimal dosage level for you can have a significant positive impact on your quality of life. Contact us today to learn more about genetic testing and the many other beneficial aspects of mental health treatment at Peachtree Wellness Solutions

Don’t hesitate to contact us immediately. In the case of a medical emergency please contact 911 or visit your local emergency department.

We Work With Most Insurance

Most major health insurance plans with out-of-network benefits can cover the costs associated with our program. Find out your coverage options right now.