I’m noticing a lot of the same common thread with our loved ones who suffer from sz, and my situation is very similar to the stories I’m reading about.
My son recently said to me, “Mom, I’ve always felt alittle odd, alittle different, alittle weird, since I was like 12”. He was always paranoid about people talking about him, or not liking him. He started isolating himself when he was 14, and I know that is common with teenagers, they don’t want to be around their parents, but my son’s case was pretty severe. He not only isolated himself, but he always had that blank stare when anyone spoke to him. It was a scary, dark look.
They say genetic as well as environmental factors influence the onset of schizophrenia, but I have not done enough research to either confirm or deny this. All I know is that my son went thru a lot environmentally, mostly as a result of a very bitter divorce. He was 9 at the time. He was like any other little boy, loved his sports and video games. Things turned quickly from the time he was 14. Perhaps prior to that, his mind wasn’t developed to know what was really going on, and seemed unaffected until he was 14. From 14 on, he plummeted into deep dark depression.
He is now 24, and I have to say, for the last 10 years, he lead a pretty rough life. I feel a lot of factors played into him having his first psychotic break when he was 19. Isolation, poor hygiene, not eating, not sleeping, walking around for hours with no sleep, eventually passing out on the street until the police found him and took him to ER which lead to his first stay for 3 months in a psychiatric hospital.
Trauma, of course, is the common denominator that is often the trigger for setting off depression, and then escalation into even a deeper depression, which I think then manifests in some cases into schizophrenia. They’ve basically reached the end of their rope with schizophrenia, accompanied by full blown psychosis. They can’t go much further down. They’ve hit rock bottom. The symptoms for depression and schizophrenia are parallel, except for the voices and the hallucinations.
I cannot express the amount of guilt I feel every single day of my life, for the divorce, for other decisions that I may have made that might have affected his slipping into even a deeper depression. I will never know. What I do know is that for every bad situation that arose, I did the very best I could, and I do get some comfort from that, however little.
It also does not help that his father is no where to be found, refuses to have any contact with his son.
So based on my experience and my son’s, I would have to lean more towards environmental factors playing more of a role in the manifestation of this disease. To even validate it a bit more, there is no history of mental illness on my side or my ex’s side of the family.
Love to all, especially to our afflicted children