Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Your experience of schizophrenia inheritance



I have been thinking and overthinking this issue a lot, as well as reading all the literature I could find. Unfortunately, I am not able to get professional consultation though.

My boyfriend’s aunt has schizophrenia. They say that she is the only case in the family. I hope they are right, although it might be absolutely possible that they do not know some older family history, for example.

The issue I am most worried about is what are the risks for our kids if we have any some day. I know the figures which are most often cited on this website and elsewhere. I would like to ask about your experience.

Our relationship with my boyfriend have had a few major bumps, and I still have some doubts about him. But it has become much better during the last year. Since I don’t have much experience with the disease, I am terrified of it. I do understand that it is not the end of the world, people manage to live quite full lives with it. But they struggle, and it is hard. I know I don’t want my kids to struggle that much. It might sound cynical that I am thinking about whether I should be in a relationship because of the desiase his aunt has, but this issue does not let me be totally happy. If I didn’t truly love him, our relationship wouldn’t have survived through all the rough things that we have gone through. (By the way, I am sure that he is sane.) I am just torn between what I feel and what is rational to do.

So my question to you is: do you have experience of having truly only one case of schizophrenia in the family, when no generations that come before or after the one with the disease do not have it. I guess, I want to get convinced that the statistics is right.
I am truly terrified of looking at my child and thinking that he or she would get crazy some day.


I’m the only schizophrenic in my family. In fact the only other mental illness is one of my sister’s anxiety.

edit: I should add I have six nieces and nephews and none of them have schizophrenia either.

Partner just told me

There’s a distant cousin on my fathers side that has schizophrenia, in my close family I’m the only one.

My niece and nephews also never shown signs of it.


Dear turtle, thank you for your reply. It means a lot to me!


Dear Minnii, thank you for responding =)


I’m one of two known cases and one speculated case in three generations of over 250 people. We’ve not had a single instance of it being passed to a child from a parent – it has always skipped a generation. Those are good odds. There is a lot of cancer in one branch of the family and a tonne of diabetes in another. A whackload of both where the branches overlapped and this is where the Missus and I feel some trepidation. Schizophrenia is the least of our worries.



Dear Pixel, thank you very much for your reply.

I am not sure I understood you. You have 250 people in 3 generations? Wow, that is a huuuge family! =)
You also said that schizophrenia always skipped one generation. How come you say always if you only had two cases?

I understand your worries about cancer and diabetes. There are so many frightening diseases that are more dangerous and painful than schizophrenia. I guess it is a personal issue that makes me more frightened of schizophrenia. It’s hard to explain.


I have a cousine and two uncles with schizophrenia.


Hi Comatose,

And there is no prior history? Like grandparents?


my son’s psychiatrist said that a 1st generation relative with sz increases the chance by 10% of a child having it.
My boy has it and his father had it. But she said the risk decreases with each generation of separation.


I might not be the right person to soothe you. My paternal grandpa, an uncle suffer from bipolar disorder. My dad had problem with binge drinking. He’s sober for last 9 years. Two of my paternal cousins dies due to alcoholism. I have problem with psychosis.

If you are so much terrified by the thought that your child/ren might end up becoming schizophrenic there’s simple solution: Don’t have kids.

I know I’m being sarcastic.

I would be really glad if you check these links:

These links are not related to schizophrenia or its inheritance. But great teaching for life in general.


By the time your future children reach adulthood, I’m sure humanity will have found better treatments for schizophrenia.


My family never talked about such things. The “crazy people” were silenced and isolated. I know one cousine and one uncle. One uncle behaves strange and disappear. Another one is “missing”. Nobody knows where he is. My cousine is the first to not be “hushed” about.

My mom won’t accept my illness. She says it’s spirits. My dad is paranoid and has grandiose thoughts about himself and has mood swings.


Thanks, Letyian. Good luck to you.


Referring to grandparents’ generation, parents’ generation, then my generation (Generation X). We know of 1 suspected case amongst grandparents on both sides. I am one of two diagnosed cases that appeared in Generation X. My grandmother on my mom’s side had seventeen siblings, but three were lost to juvenile diabetes. My grandfather on my mom’s side had three siblings.

I did some poking around about five years back through Facebook. Out of the over 250 relatives I reached (there are more), those were the only cases I found.



I am the only case in my family,no other history and I have a healthy 22 year old son.


Dear geeknoid,

You gave links to very nice articles. They are truly reassuring and very wise.

I know that having kids is always a gamble. Oh, it is so hard to explain what I think and feel without sounding rude to others, or too cynical, too rational, too stupid. I guess I better don’t try to do it here.

Anyway, I thank you very much for sharing with me what you did and wish you all the best.


Andrey, I wish it were true, but I believe we have to make decisions basing on what we can count on now, not on guesses. For the 25 years that my bf’s aunt has had her disease, almost nothing changed in the way schizophrenia is treated. At least, in the way she is treated.


Comatose, I see. It should be hard to live with such attitude to the disease around. Thank you for sharing.


Pixel, I see now how you have 250 relatives. Seventeen siblings, that is incredible. And who is the third, diagnosed case? Another grandparent?
In my situation what is reassuring is that it is my bf’s aunt, which means she and he only have 1/4 common genes. Our kids would have only 1/8 of those.