Home // Uncategorized // Schizophrenia and genetics – Philosophical post #2

Schizophrenia and genetics – Philosophical post #2

Schizophrenia is found in 1 out of 100 people in western countries. Most people have heard of it but only have a vague idea what it is.

 

 

 

Most people have a story of the person from school or college who “went crazy” and got taken away.  That person might well have been suffering with schizophrenia.

 

But people with schizophrenia are not “crazy” all the time. Mostly they struggle with motivation, have limited social lives, feel numb, and struggle to hold down a job.

 

. There has been a lot of effort in the medical community to find genetic evidence that schizophrenia is hereditary. Studies have shown that certain genes are weakly correlated with schizophrenia, and the likelihood of developing schizophrenia increases if you have close relatives who also have schizophrenia. If you have a twin with schizophrenia, your chances of becoming diagnosed with schizophrenia too are very high.

 

However, it is my belief that schizophrenia is caused almost entirely by life experiences and I will explain why.

 

Schizophrenia is caused by a combination of chronic stress, social isolation, a stressful family life and bullying (possibly by family members). Of these, chronic stress is the overall cause.  Now, suppose someone is born with an unusual appearance, let’s say a deformed nose. This may be genetically encoded. Maybe at school they are bullied. Maybe they are even put up for adoption. Maybe they are unlucky in love. All of these things lead to chronic stress.

 

I hope this shows how genetics can be involved in schizophrenia whilst not being the genuine cause. Schizophrenia is not genetic, it is not a magical thing, it is a reaction to stress.

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6 Comments

  • heyitsjennybear

    June 23, 2015 at 8:54 am

    I’ve watched some films and read books about schizophrenia and my only thought is: can we cure it? If it’s usually only a reaction to stress, then I feel like we can do something to help them. More people should read this article so we can get a better idea of how to deal with schizophrenia.

    • The Most Ordinary Man Ever

      June 23, 2015 at 9:22 pm

      The problems a schizophrenic person has are often extremely complicated, and it’s easier to give medication which dulls the behaviour, rather than intensive therapy which would solve the issues. If the patient goes into hospital, gets better, and then returns home to a toxic situation, it will be a never-ending problem. I firmly believe it can be cured and that medication is not the answer, however it is probably clear that my view is not shared by everyone. Thanks for your comment!

  • I think issues like schizophrenia are far more complex than we are wont to give them credit for. While they may originate from trauma and extreme stress, often times such things can be genetically-borne and result in physical chemical imbalances within the afflicted’s brain. In such situations I don’t see much other than medication in the ways of guaranteed short-term recourse. I think you’re right that environmental factors are huge in influencing the manifestation of these issues, but it cannot be 100% unseated in the brain.

    • The Most Ordinary Man Ever

      July 24, 2015 at 7:45 pm

      The “chemical imbalance” theory is highly controversial and many people would say it has been discredited. Some would argue that the medication (antipsychotics, anxiolytics, mood stabilisers) simply acts as a tranquiliser to subdue psychotic behaviour. You are right, in the short term, they are the best option.

      I would point out that the brain is the source of a large part of an individual’s behaviour; to suggest that the complex problems that an individual has accrued over years and decades of social interactions can be solved using a relatively simple chemical tablet is not really true; as an example consider a woman who habitually dehydrates herself as part of her lifestyle, medicates using aspirin, and then suffers not only the side effects of aspirin use (liver damage perhaps) but also continues to suffer the physical harm of dehydration, albeit without the painful headaches.

      Thank you very much for your comment, I appreciate it very much.

  • i guess a schizophenic person experiences things in a different way that’s why the way he reacts to it is also a bit different. dealing with the things he’s stressed about might seem like a good idea, but in the end, if another problem comes up, isn’t he going to find himself back to where he started?

    • The Most Ordinary Man Ever

      August 15, 2015 at 2:07 am

      Yeah i kind of agree, in fact that’s a major important point. Just taking away the surface stress by giving tranquillising medication will not solve his warped thinking.

      The good news is that the delusions are weirdness in a schizophrenic person’s mind(sorry, person with schizophrenia to use the PC terminology) will go away with time, as he realises that the world is not conforming to his bizarre beliefs. In fact many schizophrenics show a lot of improvement by the age of 30 or so. I believe that time and time alone heals psychosis. Of course, if you continue a harmful lifestyle (eg drugs, isolation) you might just get worse i stead of better.

      Thanks for ur comment

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