Animal cruelity and genes

I’ve been with my husband for four years. He had a major breakdown last year and was dx with Schizophrenia. He’s been off and on his meds for a year now, and sadly had another breakdown in OCtober. He was hospitalized for 5 days and then released. When he came back home he refused to take his med, and on Thursday went into a psychotic state and shouted/scream for me to get the evil sprits (our two cats) out of the house.

I took them to my parents (in the middle of the night 3 hours away), and they are safe. But when I came home today and saw our fish tank gone I was devastated. He basically killed the fish; baked them alive specifically.

When I asked him why he says he “had a bad feeling”. I asked if he was commanded to do this and he says no. He says he doesn’t really remember that day. When I ask him about the voices he never tells me much.

Is this common for schizophrenics to do? My husband is NOT a violent person so I am very frighten that he was capable of doing this.

How genetic is this? I see online that it’s about 10% chance our children can have it. When I ask his family members (who live in a different country/different culture) they state no one in their family has gone through something like this. This may be true, but it may not be accurate.

If it is true, and there is no-one like this in their family does that mean my husband’s schizophrenia is not genetic and was a result of a birth injury/virus? Which would mean our children wouldn’t be at risk?

Please your comments are much appreciated. We don’t have much support, and I’m trying to be strong. I’m in my early 20s and work fulltime to support us, and it’s been VERY HARD.

He did take his medicine today. His mother, who is from a culture/place where ‘schizophrenia’ doesn’t exist, convinced him to take the med. He listened to her thank God, and I think he will be taking his medicine now. His family come from a very religious place where something like this is literally seen as a ‘spiritual attack’. Now though, after a year of denial, I think they realized this is something serious and not something their prayers can take away.

As a whole, the percentage of schizophrenics who get violent is about the same as the general population of "normal " people. But three factors can increase the chances of someone with schizophrenia getting violent.
One: If they are un-medicated.
Two: If they are on street drugs or drinking.
Three: If they were violent people before they got sick.

Actually people with schizophrenia are more likely to be victims of violence rather than commit it.

I think the juries still out on a definitive answer as to the cause of schizophrenia. There’s many theories out there but I don’t think researchers have pinned down the exact cause of schizophrenia.

My suggestion to you is read as much as you can about schizophrenia. There’s numerous websites that explain and give information about schizophrenia.
If you get some information about what it is all about, it might answer some questions you have about it. It will help you to know what you are dealing with and a little of what to expect. There are numerous books about it too.

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also, you can speak with multiple doctors who can help inform you of the specific type of schizophrenia. a mental illness like schizophrenia, in my opinion, is greatly connected to personality; and so an understanding of the ill person would probably be quite helpful in understanding the person’s illness and schizophrenic behavior

Thank you

I was aware that schizophrenics are most often victims as opposed to those causing violence. It’s really frightening he did this though. My husband is a very gentle person and that fact that he baked them alive in our oven is disturbing. I have been doing lots of research on schizophrenia, and have three books already on the subject. I haven’t read them all yet.

I know medicine is paramount, and thankfully he toke it today. It’s really depressing though that this has become my life. I don’t mean to complain, but I’m so depressed myself. I don’t know what to do. I feel trapped =(

Thank you! Since his hospitalization last year there was a psych doctor he saw a few times, I don’t think she saw him enough times to truly dx him with a specific type. He last saw her in the summer. She doesn’t practice anymore and so we have an appointment set up for next week with a different doc. We’ve literally been waiting a month for him to see someone.

Hi @LMC,
I’d like to direct you over to our Family forum, found at:

While this forum is for people with schizophrenia and other closely related psychotic disorders, the Family forum is specifically for people like yourself, who have a loved one they are concerned about.

Also, please let your loved one know about this forum as they may find it helpful.

Best of luck,
Volunteer Moderator