I received very helpful feedback on my last post on schizophrenia. It is clear that I need to expand on the idea that schizophrenia may be caused by (chronic) stress and nothing else.
It seems simple to prove that schizophrenia, or any illness, is genetic. Just do a study, do some mathematics, bish bash bosh, the proof is complete. But statistical studies are wrought with problems. Furthermore, a simple mathematical proof of a link between schizophrenia and genetics does nothing to improve our knowledge of what schizophrenia is and how it works. Unfortunately we are in the dark ages of schizophrenia understanding, and trying to grasp at proving a genetic cause for schizophrenia is the very basic level at which we are at as a society.
Every psychiatric nurse, doctor and auxiliary worker has his or her own pet theories about schizophrenia. Personally I am also confused by schizophrenia and its causes, but I hold a conviction that it is not genetic in origin.
I hope to convince the reader that it is possible that schizophrenia can develop due to stress, and as such is not genetic.
Consider chronic stress. Some days better than others. Over the years this constant stress begins to cause problems. Facial tics, social outbursts, obsessions, neuroses-any of the spectrum of mental illness may begin to appear in mild form,due to the stress.
One begins to have a personality change over the years. A previously outgoing man may become introverted. He is tired of the stress. He cannot face social situations as easily because of the stress.
The man is tired – he is burnt out on life , so he stops shaving and rarely bathes. After a few months he has long hair and a thick beard. Whilst wandering to the shops some local children shout, “hey, Jesus”, due to his appearance.
Months later he spends his time reading religious texts, because ordinary books are all about romantic love and he can’t bear the loneliness. He has low body weight, and thinks about the world in religious terms.
One day he sees a beautiful young woman; entranced, he stares and smiles; the woman looks in disgust and makes a derogatory comment. The man can’t bear it. He runs. He finds himself in a supermarket. In a manic state, he starts talking to a stranger. He wants to feel more important, he wants to feel useful, so he uses the only weapon in his arsenal, the ability to talk spiritually and religiously.
Looking a mess, clearly upset, our hero starts preaching to the stranger. He asks for friendship as well. The stranger asks him if he thinks he is Jesus. Our hero says, my name is Jesus actually. Police have received reports of a homeless man scaring females and disturbing the peace in a supermarket.
Two days later the man is in a mental hospital, confused, unable to communicate, and diagnosed with schizophrenia.
I hope this has been interesting. In the story we can see how the stress has lead to a gradual fall from normal man to crazy man.