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Is Schizophrenia Hereditary

Updated on September 3, 2011

Is schizophrenia hereditary? This is one of the most asked questions that relatives and family members of schizophrenic patients have on their minds. Schizophrenia, like other mental illnesses, is not caused due to genetic factors alone as most people believe. The common belief is that chances of developing schizophrenia is 50% more in people with family history of schizophrenia than others with no relatives suffering from it. This disorder is not passed directly from one generation to the other genetically but it arises due to the combined effect of genetic, environmental and psychological factors. Clinical studies and research have shown genetic component to contribute towards the development of schizophrenia. However, there are non-genetic factors that lead to the development of this disease.

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that is found in very few people. This split personality disorder can have severe and devastating consequences for people suffering it. Statistics reveal that there are more men than women who develop schizophrenia. A person suffering from this disease has problem in differentiating between the real and imaginary things. It is a challenging mental condition that makes it extremely troublesome for the patient to think clearly and keep his emotions under control. Disruptions can get in the way of one’s ability to perform normal functions and lead a well-balanced life.

This brain disorder has a negative impact on the way a person thinks and perceives the world. Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia act in a bizarre way due to their failure to think clearly and their loss of ability to perceive the reality in the right manner. People with this mental illness start seeing and hearing things that are unreal and often live in the wrongful perception that other people are keeping a constant eye on them and are trying to harm them. The thinking power deteriorates, blurring the distinguishing line between the imaginary and the real things. Most people isolate themselves from the outside world and live in extreme fear and confusion. Higher number of cases of schizophrenia is seen to appear in teens or adults.

However, schizophrenia can be treated and managed successfully if one detects the early signs and symptoms of this chronic brain disorder. Identifying the early warning signs is the first step towards treating the mental illness.

Symptoms of schizophrenia

People with question ‘is schizophrenia hereditary’ can get the answer by studying about the array of symptoms that shows up in patients suffering from this brain disorder. This disease is marked by high level of disruption caused in emotional behavior and cognition power. The most basic human attributes such as thought, action, language, perception and sense of self gets impacted negatively due to significant loss of contact with reality. Failure to express or emote through the face or a blank facial express is a marked feature of this severe, debilitating mental illness. Some physical symptoms also include sleeping disturbances, difficulty in focusing on one movement of objects, clumsy behavior, awkward gait and abnormal gestures or postures.

A lot of patients suffering from schizophrenia become hypersensitive and act in a bizarre, sometimes even a violent way to criticism and insult. The mental disorder is also characterized by changes in behavioral patterns. People found to develop this chronic illness can suffer from terrible mood swings and gradually get detached from his surroundings and the world outside. Suicidal thoughts and depressive feelings start forming as people with schizophrenia feel low on motivation and become lethargic. From being happy to angry, schizophrenic patients can experience sudden anger, hostility, suspiciousness, irritability and extreme resentment. There are cases when patients acquire obsessive compulsive tendencies and are seen holding intense religious views or wrong beliefs about spirituality.

When suffering from schizophrenia, people find it extremely difficult to face stressful and pressure situations that require them to think clearly and act strongly on their conviction. As a result, the performance of the sufferers drops down substantially in their classroom or in their office. Slowly, the patients start acting in an unusual way, giving out inappropriate responses such as laughing when refereeing to an unfortunate event or making illogical statements. Cognitive issues associated with schizophrenia includes lack of any definite direction or goal, poor concentration and trouble in understanding the body language, voice tone and eye contact of other people appropriately. Hallucinations and delusions of different kinds also occur in people with this mental disorder.

Undertaking proper research and consulting doctors will help you answer your concern- ‘is schizophrenia hereditary?’ There are several symptoms and signs of this brain disease that are common in other bipolar disorders and other mental conditions such as temporal lobe epilepsy and brain tumors. It is best to consult an expert physician to find ways to treat this severe mental illness.


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