Does mental illness skip a generation?


I am new to this forum, and I have been in denial for quite some time. You see, I have a family history of mental illness, and I thank God that I have not displayed any signs (as of yet) of the same. My mother has Schizophrenia, and so did my Grandmother. Until recently I thought that I had escaped this horrible illness, until my youngest daughter admitted to me that she has been hearing voices since she was 7 years old. She admits that she has “Alter” egos, and understands that they are not real. She is 17 years old now, and I am saddened that she endured suffering all those years. now my oldest 24 years admits that she has heard voices all her life. She thinks she is an Angel and on the same level as Jesus Crist. She says people on television speak to her, and that both Satan and Jesus visits hers. She says she ca see Demons in people that walk the earth. She is severely depressed and can’t keep a job because of her illness. She doesn’t admit to having an illness but has requested help. I don’t understand how I could have missed any signs whilst they were growing up. Is it true that mental illness skips a generation?


Its not a hard rule that schizophrenia skips a generation. It can occur in any generation and branch of the family tree. It is more likely to occur in first generation–meaning parent to child. Also, parents can carry the gene for schizophrenia and be asymptomatic (showing no signs mental illness).

My mom had schizophrenia. And likely passed those genes to me. Since I grew up around her illness, and suffered with it myself, I have decided not to have children. The risk of passing those genes is relatively small, but its a risk that I’m not willing to take.

I’m very sorry to hear about your daughters. Getting the proper diagnosis and treatment for them is imperative. And schizophrenia isn’t a death sentence. There are many people on this forum who are functioning highly on antipsychotic medications. So your daughters have a shot to live good, productive lives, with the right treatments.



Epocrates Online. Schizophrenia: 2014


There is a vain of mental illness in our family as well. I my grandfather suffered Sz, my Uncle has Sz, but he has two kids who are fine, one kid who is suffering. My Uncle’s brother… my Dad is fine, I have Sz, two brothers who are not diagnosed with anything. My youngest brother has recently been diagnosed bipolar 1. My kid sister is fine.

The way I see it… the genetic light switch is always there, but it takes something to flip that switch on.

Radmedtech is very correct… this isn’t an end of life thing. Sure, it’s a detour during onset, but after that detour, life can get back on track;

I’m rooting for you.


Veronicab please do not beat yourself up about noticing this sooner. Even though symptoms might have been there when they were younger they probably didn’t interfere with their daily life like they do now. My son had his first psychotic break when he was 20. However, now things are coming out that he heard voices when he was smaller. The voices probably weren’t as strong as they are now and he was able to function pretty normally.
I am so sorry that your daughters are going through this. This is a very ugly illness. Please don’t look back that’s not going to do you or your daughters any good, move forward and take one day at a time. My heart goes out to you and know this forum is here to provide support.


Welcome to the forum @veronicab

ohioflash is so right. Beating yourself up over not noticing things will not do you any good.

From Wikipedia: hindsight is 20/20 … From the term 20/20 referring to normal visual acuity. … (idiomatic)
In hindsight things are obvious that were not obvious from the outset;

Wishing you and your daughters all the best.


how old are you, in my case I have an autoimmune disorder. I was adopted but told my mother had Sz, I bet she had the same thing I have. I did not every have a psychosis until age 45, there’s still time for you :slight_smile: