As For Trauma Causing Schizophrenia: No! No! No!

I don’t think trauma on its own can cause psychosis/schizophrenia but can it be dismissed so easily as a contributing factor?


I wouldn’t rule out traumas as non-contributing factors.

I agree. Stress/ trauma could be involved.

Multiple traumas and on going traumas prevent progress toward recovery.

As a rule, you have to leave the bad man harming you to get better.

And then, better yet.

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IDK to much research that events do change our genetics atm to just dismiss it.

Up to a point. I’ve reached that stage in my life where I need to own my problems and not blame everything on Mom. Yeah, she sucked, but a person has to cut loose and move on. After a while a person starts to sound like a Lo-Fi version of Norman Bates.


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Why try? (How many parents of sz pts have I seen? Answer: At least 75.) (How many of them either invaded, over-limited, over-controlled, abused, invalidated, confused, or otherwise bamboozled their children?) (Answer: At least 75.)

Anonymous: Adult Children of Alcoholics: Alcoholic / Dysfunctional Families, Torrance, CA: ACA World Service Office, 2006.
Woititz, J. G.: Adult Children of Alcoholics, Pompano Beach. FL: Health Communications, 1983.
Black, C.: It Will Never Happen to Me: Children of Alcoholics as Youngsters-Adolescents-Adults, New York: Ballentine, 1981, 1987.

Miller, A.: For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child Rearing and the Roots of Violence, London: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1979, 1983.

Miller, A.: Prisoners of Childhood / The Drama of the Gifted Child, New York: Basic Books, 1979, 1996.

Miller, A.: Thou Shalt Not Be Aware: Society’s Betrayal of the Child, London: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1981, 1984, 1998.

Perry, B.; Szalavitz, M.: The Boy Who was Raised as a Dog…, New York: Basic Books, 2007.

Forward, S.: Toxic Parents: Overcoming their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life, New York: Bantam Books, 1989.

Forward, S.: Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation and Guilt to Manipulate You, New York: Bateson, G., Jackson, D.,

Haley, J.; et al: Perceval’s Narrative: A Patient’s Account of his Psychosis, Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 1961. Etiology of schizophrenia.

Esterson, A.: The Leaves of Spring: Schizophrenia, Family and Sacrifice, London: Tavistock, 1972.

Henry, J.: Pathways to Madness, New York: Random House, 1965.

Jackson, D. (ed.): The Etiology of Schizophrenia: Genetics / Physiology / Psychology / Sociology, London: Basic Books, 1960.

Laing, R. D.; Esterson, A.: Sanity, Madness and the Family, London: Tavistock, 1964.

Lidz, T.: The Origin and Treatment of Schizophrenic Disorders, New York: Basic Books, 1973.

Lidz, T.; Fleck, S., Cornelison, A.: Schizophrenia and the Family, 2nd Ed.; New York: International Universities Press, 1985.

And lately:

Payson, E.: The Wizard of Oz and other Narcissists: Coping with One-Way Relationships in Work, Love andFamily, Royal Oak, MI: Julian Day, 2002.

Brown, N.: Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up’s Guide to getting Over Narcissistic Parents, 2nd. Ed., Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 2008.

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I agree. BUT… not until they have successfully…

  1. disabused themselves of many guilt for “the crime,” and…

  2. recognized that their parents were also “made crazy.”

I think I’ve probably hit the entire list except for abuse. I’m not into corporal punishment – never have been – and my policy is to walk out of the room until the urge to yell has passed. The latter works about 95% of the time. My daughter may feel abused, however, but we likely have different standards. I don’t really think changing the WiFi password on her until she cleans up her room counts.

Bamboozling and invalidation? Hell yes!


My mom might have been born crazy. Her alcoholic father (my grandfather who died of alcoholic complications when I was seven) certainly did her no favours. Definite physical abuse. Possible sexual abuse. Also, she was farther along the autism scale than I am. A lot farther. It’s just that nobody really knew that back then.

Edit: She became a social worker after going blind from diabetic retinopathy (former RN), which proved out my theory of damaged people seeking out other damaged people.


And damaged people seeking out other damaged people to “help.”

(Uh, oh.) (Outta here.) :open_mouth: :dizzy_face: :flushed: :neutral_face: :no_mouth:


Bollocks, sir. Your account doesn’t have so much as an official warning. Some accounts here have been suspended so many times they glow in the dark.

As you were.


There is a very strong genetic influence in schizophrenia. Stress is obviously a contributing factor, but I don’t have much in the way of traumatic experiences. I did get hit in the head twice as a child though. I mean my mom is probably ill so it was far from a perfect childhood, but it wasn’t traumatic.

That suggests that there is a cycle that needs to be broken. Or does it suggest a genetic component to the continuation of such behaviour ?
Why do many children with abusive/traumatic childhoods not end up with psychosis/schizophrenia? Are the incidences of psychosis/schizophrenia higher in countries reporting higher levels of child abuse/trauma?

I am not sure all parents of those with psychosis/schizophrenia are as damaging and negative as you describe @notmoses . I have come across people who have had good childhoods who have succumbed to psychosis/schizophrenia.


Perhaps it’s the secrets we keep @firemonkey

No one here can claim they know how people end up with psychosis or schizophrenia. The fact is that we can’t know for sure how some particular person ended up with sz, but we do know that genes are very important and that there are people who live perfectly normal and happy lives before they get sz. We also know that stress is an important factor. It’s not for anyone here to say what made others end up with sz or how they can get better. What works for some people does not work for others. Helping others is good, assuming everyone is like you is not.

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Kewl bibliography!!


Yes. Some pros call it “intergenerational concentration of etiology.” Great grandparents on both sides: behavior not so bad / a gene here or there. Grandparents: a bit ■■■■■■ up on one or both sides / more genes. Parents: More stressed and ■■■■■■ up / lots of genes. Pt.: Very stressed & ■■■■■■ up with a pile of genes.

Not “or.” And. Though it could run from a lot of behavioral conditioning and a little genetics to a lot of genetics and not so much behavioral conditioning.

  1. Lack of genes. 2) What the pros call “resilience.”

Actually not always. Sz is unusually common in the Scandinavian countries, for example. The genes are there. And so is the subtle, belief- and rule-bound, moral perfectionistic here / quietly rule-breaking there, confusing parenting. Sociologists have been on it since at least the '50s. Ingmar Bergman made several films about it.

Two items: 1) Many sz pts have their childhoods largely blanked out (because they were so awful?). 2) Many would not recognize the confusing-style parenting common in the backgrounds of sz unless it was explained in detail and via example.

YES. I thought what I grew up with was normal. Was surprised and then outraged when I found out it wasn’t. I thought what happened in my home happened in every home. Holy hell was I wrong about that.


I guessed that would be so but had to pose the question. Although I would couch in terms of genetics and environment which would include more than behavioural conditioning

  1. Suggests a lack of genes for psychosis/schizophrenia whereas 2) suggests the presence of genes for “resilience”.
    It does fit my belief that more is needed than the presence of trauma to tip someone into psychosis/schizophrenia.
    Genes + environmental factors be it behavioural conditioning or something else seem to be what brings on psychosis/schizophrenia.
    However I am curious as to how psychosis/schizophrenia can skip a generation and how psychosis/schizophrenia can occur in an individual with no familial loading for psychosis/schizophrenia. Is the latter explained by De novo mutation?

This seems to be a convenient way of pushing the “of course the person with psychosis/schizophrenia had a bad childhood” line . A patient can be lead to the false belief that their parents were bad and the cause of their psychosis/schizophrenia.
While some of us had inadequate or poor parenting and developed severe mental illness there are those who had good parenting and developed SMI.
I wonder how much your view on this is coloured by an inability to see beyond your own childhood experiences and to allow for the possibility that sometimes children from healthy backgrounds develop SMI.

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