Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Sad Common Denominator

Me too ! If I had known what was going on, I might have had much better luck in the earlier stages getting Jeb on meds.

I was totally clueless as to what was going on for 11 years - it seems amazing now - but that is how it went. Some of them can hide their symptoms quite a bit. I wonder how many drug addicts are undiagnosed folks with scz.

This is one prominent viewpoint in an article that comes from the Mental Illness Policy Org. founded by nationally recognized DJ Jaffe: The entire website of this organization has a ton of information and works for advocacy to help those with SERIOUS Mental Illness (schizophrenia, bi-polar, schizo-affective, major depressive).

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This is really great find. Mental illness in our country summarized.

im 12 years into remission from a 30 year paranoid schiz illness
i have autism
we had a middle brother who had unremmiting psychosis for 11 years

my youngest brother is also dyslexic, major depressive with unremitting psychosis for the past 5 yrs undiagnosed, refuses treatment

all 3 have addiction problems, have all been abused by our brother to differing extents

we are entering an age where other than some specifics like cannabis abuse, we are born how we are going to be for our lives with like 80% schiz chances for example etc
modern genetics disprove the nurture in nature nurture debate

if you have siblings, think how different you all individuals are/ were
every one is born themselves
i probably had genetics for fat!
95th percentile age 13
now on the way to normal weight again

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Hi, Three. Thank you for telling us some of your family history. If all three siblings have suffered from psychosis, do you know if your parents or grandparents did also?

Good luck with continued weight loss, I am trying to lose weight also.

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Everyone is talking about modern genetics. Not to sound cynical, not sure doctors and science have all of the answers. Articles mean nothing to me and doctors have made many mistakes. I could read a hundred articles about statistics and percentages regarding different topics, that is not the do all/end all to me. There are other articles that also say some of the percentages reported are never accurate.

I just feel had my son had a more loving family, no divorce, no horrific trauma, no horrific hardships, he would not be this way. I know how he was when our family was whole. But it is only a belief, and somehow relying only on modern theories about genetics sounds cold & sterile to me, w/o people in the their lives taking some of the responsibility., where they may have failed. I truly believe trauma affects ones mental state ( they snap). How much is a person meant to take? How much is a safe amount not to “trigger” a mental breakdown?

And if someone is going to respond and say that their loved one had the most perfect loving upbringing and they still ended up w sz, perhaps that’s one of the rare situations.

Someone mentioned we ALL live w trauma, so therefore it had to be the genetics that played a part in determining who ended up ill & who didn’t. No, I think your character & environment determine that. How strong a person is, how much will & determination they possess, in facing life’s hardships. Life is not for the weak.

I look @ myself, and the part that I may have played in this outcome. I think it’s easier for some of us to just say “I did everything I could, I was the best mom I could be and he had the most loving family and he still ended up ill”.

My belief does not mean I don’t leave little room for genetics being a factor, but based on my experience, it’s a very tiny percentage.

It just seems so much easier to chalk it up to science and looking at doctors & scientists as gods.

thanks oldladyblue I have a period due tomorrow and the bloat and all that goes with it are here
still trying to get back on it

no parents, grandparents, or aunts, uncles,
one of my cousins is Autistic. worse than I
he was a child who would line up all his toys and was not very verbal
he has trained to do dry stone walling

my mum’s cousin has a history that my mum will never really be clear about
I think she was cagey because she didn’t want to scare any of us.
he was bought up with my mum as a refugee in Germany and had a very close relationship with my mum bought up as brothers
in the 1950’s he was put in an asylum and they threw away the key.

I honestly don’t know any more and actually i don’t know if my mum knows more either.

it would have been great shame would it i think in my grandparents age?

yes we do not have answers, just statistics and multiple people who spent so many lifetimes looking into the questions… cleverer than i am…
and i do not oppose the idea that science is not all

The ‘everyone has trauma’ is a good point i think also

it is just the fact that had I gone into a` 9-5 job and had a learning disabled child i have no doubt that the stress from that would prove to trigger me also
just as much as being autistic and taking drugs for a year as a teenager

if i was born into a perfect family and had to prove myself by achieving there is probably a genetic element there

as a member of AA, I have not much info coming back to me
about the odd dog walking athletic, abandoned children on the other side of the world helping in a gap year and straight to working as a teacher.

i am just as baffled by my husband taking 3 biscuits with him on a week long course and coming back with all 3!

genetics itself is god as much as any other
unfathomable - we will never be all knowing

my belief is we are who we are
can you really shape and change a child?
sure manners and crossing the road and sharing
but what more can a monkey teach a baby monkey?

I’m the oldest of three.
i saw perfectly formed personalities and perfect people remaining who they were at age 3 and 10 and 20 and 40

"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.

isolation, hygiene, not eating, not sleeping, walking around for hours of no sleep, eventually passing out on the street"

all the listed are in common with other schizophrenics

this is not what pushed him to the edge - that would suggest that his behaviour was wrong. or because of trauma
this is just not the is how schizophrenics function in their physical body that others can observe

yes I believe we most certainly CAN shape and change a child’s life, based on upbringing. I will never buy the whole “genetics” thing. I believe most of these “evil” and “horrific” crimes committed by serial killers could have been prevented. It was not in their genes to “kill”. We are all born innocent and naïve. It’s how people and environment shapes us.

If you are talking about autism and mental retardation or a physical handicap, that is a different story. These things you cannot help if this is how you’re born. Just like if obesity runs in your family, but you don’t have to be fat. You can do something about that. It’s so easy to just point everything to genetics. Oh well, this is how we are meant to be because this is how our parents, grandparents, aunts, & uncles were. No, I’m sorry, I’m not buying into that, it’s too easy

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it’s not an excuse
it is a firm belief, opposed completely to what you believe

my mum has the same belief
which could have lead to permissive parenting

so yes
that I need to think again here to a certain percentage
because she loved us wild and we were wild

I KNOW these are common in schizophrenics…you are totally misunderstanding. I know he is schizophrenic. How did he get here? That is what we are discussing - was it genetics, environment, upbringing, or ALL OF THE ABOVE??

He developed these symptoms AFTER he became ill…how did he become ill?

These symptoms did NOT push him to the edge, it was the other way around. He was already on the edge, heading towards his breakdown, thus the exhibition of these symptoms.

How did he get to the edge? To this dangerous cliff? Most would say genetics, I say environment and EVERYONE in his life letting him down!!

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I got that wrong.

okay - i guess I should concentrate more on what i am saying / reading / giving out

I just think that there is no need to blame stuff on stuff


A good friend is totally convinced that his wife has schizoaffective because he cheated on her in the early years of their marriage. Her mom and 2 of her siblings are severe bipolar. I am spending a lot of time trying to convince my friend he did not cause his wife’s illness.

I have wondered a good deal if my son’s scz genes would not have broken through if he had not found out at age 18 that he was going to eventually require a kidney transplant. I know he began thinking about many things differently at that point. He questioned if he should tell girls early on in relationships or not tell them at all.

My son could be so strong and so sensitive. I can still see his strength as he deals with scz and tries to have a life.

I guess the reason we tell family members to not blame themselves for what has happened in the past is because they can’t change the past. Sadly, it is possible to just blame yourself to the point where you can’t progress forward - which doesn’t do anyone any good. This is where my friend is stuck. He just looks backwards and blames himself.

If many factors do conspire together to launch the scz gene into action - it still leaves us right where we are today. Trying to cope with the future.


@ hope I’m not “stuck” at all, on the contrary I’ve never seen things clearer. I see things for what they are, and I’m the biggest advocate in his life. But sadly, the truth is the truth, and you can’t change that or take it back. I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel like I had a hand in it. But am I over it, because I feel I’ve done and am continuing to do the best I can for my son’s well being, come hell or high water. He is my absolute first priority and I’m going to be there for him as long as I possibly can!

Please don’t mistake my thoughts as my “being stuck”, and unable to forgive myself. It’s not about that at all. I’m just reflecting, and trying to put some of the pieces of the puzzle back together, that is all.

I’m more aware now, more than ever before, of myself and my shortcomings and the things I need to work on. My son and I are learning together. In a strange way, it brought us even closer.

But I take blame where blame is due…but definitely not stuck. It would not be beneficial to either one of us.

I just want you to know I’ve enjoyed so many of your insightful posts as well. I learn so much from everyone on here, and their struggles and what they deal with daily, this group has become my lifeline.


Gosh no, @mbheart - did not mean to suggest you were stuck, my friend is, that’s for sure. I have to be patient and give him more time.

What a nice thing to say, thank you - hopefully you have enjoyed my stupid stuff - there’s a lot more of it!

This last post of yours is quite the call for strength and perseverence for all of us. The people here are a lifeline for so many of us.

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I sometimes wonder if it does any good at all to try to sort through the past for what might have caused the illness. I don’t think anymore that finding the cause will change the future. The only thing that seems to be changing the future for us is finding something in the present that can be improved, and then improving it. I have finally stopped blaming myself. Or her. Or anyone. This illness just IS, and moving forward one tiny step at a time is the only thing to do. God bless us all, this is such a STRUGGLE.


Speaking for myself, thinking of the past and TRYING to put some of the pieces together DOES help me. But I can’t speak for anyone else. I don’t always succeed in always coming to terms with things & feeling like I have all of the answers, but for myself, I need to know where it came from & how it might have happened to Work in the present. This is just my mindset and I don’t expect anyone else to agree.

As I mentioned, I’m not “STUCK” there, I’m just sorting and applying to the best of my ability. This helps me a great deal in the present and understanding my son as he is now.

Hugs to all


Thanks for the hugs. I need hugs some days. Once in a while I get one from my daughter. I love those days. Hugs back to you too. Whatever we can do to get our minds to settle is a good thing.


@mbheart thank you so much for sharing, you are helping me a lot, I have a sister and a brother who are afflicted with this and I feel sadness and guilt. I hope instead of those feelings, I educate myself about what they have and how to help them. Thank you so much, love to all