Genetic Testing For Mental Health

genetic testing for psychiatric medications

Finding the right medication or medications can be a personalized journey for people coping with a mental health condition or chronic pain. Some medications work better for you than others. Side effects with some medications are probably more common for you than with other medications. Finding the right medications is often trial and error and can take a lot of time.

Your genetic makeup is one of the reasons why some medications work better for you than others. Genetic testing for mental health can help remove the trial and error to find medications that work better for you.

Genetic testing for mental health applies to many mental health and chronic pain conditions including:

  • Depression and major depression
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality disorder
  • Chronic pain
  • PTSD
  • ADHD
  • OCD
  • BiPolar Disorder
  • Substance Abuse
  • Others

What do Genetic Testing Results Show?

Genetic testing results show your mental health practitioner which medications match your genetic makeup better than others. For example, your body metabolizes some medications better than others, which affects how well certain medications will work for you. Genetic testing results also indicate if you respond to certain classes of medications better than others, for example SSRIs and SNRIs.

How does Genetic Testing for Mental Health Work?

Genetic testing analyzes the effect medications have on your body (pharmacogenetic) and the effect your body has on a drug (pharmacokinetic). Both are important. The reports tell us:

  1. How your genetic makeup can affect the performance of medications
  2. Which of your genes might interact with commonly used medications in psychiatry
  3. For specific diagnoses (depression or chronic pain, for example), which medications should be augmented.

Genetic Testing at Progressive Health Primary Care

Genetic testing with us is a 3 step process: 

  1. A specimen is collected with a gentle swabbing of the cheeks. There are 2 options to collect the specimen: we can have a kit mailed to you for self-collection, or you can come to our office. During COVID - 19 all patients coming to the office must wear a mask.
  2. Your specimen is sent to the lab for analysis.
  3. Dr. Liu will review the results with you via telehealth or in our office. This is usually about 45 minutes.

For over 7 years Dr. Liu has helped over one hundred patients understand how to improve their medication plan with pharmacogenetic testing. For members of the practice, Dr. Liu collaborates with the patient’s mental health practitioners. 

To schedule an appointment contact us at 708-386-3080 or



  • Members: $0
  • Nonmembers: $100, due at the appointment to discuss testing results.

There is a separate charge for lab analysis charged by the lab. Medicare covers this charge. Most other insurance carriers charge a copay. Please contact your carrier for specifics.