High Rate Of Spouses Who Share Psychiatric Disorders

People with psychiatric disorders appear more likely to be attracted to others with mental illness. And not only is this “assortative mating” found across many different types of mental illnesses, the correlations between spouses sharing psychiatric disorders is much higher than spouses with similar personalities or height, according to research published in JAMA Psychiatry.

Ashley Nordsletten, PhD, from the Department of Clinical Neuroscience in Sweden and colleagues found that the correlation between spouses for psychiatric disorders was extremely high: while correlation between spouses for physical traits such as height and weight was only approximately 0.20, and the correlation between spouses for personality was only 0.10, spouse tetrachoric correlations were greater than 0.40 for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and schizophrenia.

Substance abuse was the next highest spouse correlation ranging from 0.36-0.39. For other disorders, including affective disorders, assortative mating was significant but less substantial, ranging from 0.14-0.19.

The JAMA articles


I believe it. I have found that I am really drawn to people with depressive and schizotypal personalities, for friendship as well as romance.


A lot of therapists have observed that schizophrenics tend to rapport with each other.


No wonder I love you all.

1 Like (*pulls up a chair) Welcome to my new dating site!

How you doin’? :wink:

I met my wife in psychiatric hospital when we were both inpatients. Her psychiatric history was one of several reactive depressions. She was not what one would call severely mentally ill.

I can’t bond with people who I can’t understand on some level, and who don’t understand me on certain levels. I can like them in a very distant sort of way, but I won’t bond with them. The few friends I have had over the years all had some ■■■■ they had been through and were still living with, and there’s just this almost immediate mutual-wavelength.

I believe there is some level of truth in this. My dad has schizoaffective disorder and my mother major depression. I also have schizoaffective disorder and my partner has problems with depression.