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.