Gene Testing


Gene testing is a tool used by psychiatrists to indicate how your genes may affect medication outcomes. This testing may reveal which medications require dose adjustments, be less likely to work, or have an increased risk of side effects in treating depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other mental health conditions.

Gene testing is also referred to by the following terms:

  • Genetic Testing
  • DNA Testing
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Psychiatric genetic testing

Key Things to Know About Gene Testing

  • Genetic testing can result in less trial and error with medications, as well as faster positive results.
  • Some companies have testing kits you can get sent to your home and some are in-office testing.
  • Testing does not always require a blood draw; certain tests use saliva from the swab of the cheek.
  • This type of testing can guide a provider in recommending medication for a patient who has had difficulty with medications (often those who have tried multiple medications).

How Gene Testing is Used for Mental Health Wellness

Genetic testing can play a role in mental health wellness as there are times this test can help find a medication that will be successful. Individuals often get discouraged and stop medication altogether after trying multiple medications that either produce no relief or unwanted side effects. Genetic testing can help a provider hone in on a group of medications that have the best chance at being effective.

Gene Testing at Dakota Family Services

At Dakota Family Services, we work with Genomind (when appropriate) to facilitate a more focused and personalized approach to medication management.

More Resources:

« Mental Health Glossary