Is schizophrenia genetic?

Since the current research that I’ve read says that schizophrenia is genetic and environmental how much do you guys think is genetic or environmental?

It’s a little bit of both…

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The truth is I have no idea. Nobody in my family had sz.

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Genetic - My Dad’s employer
Environmental - My coworker and the neighborhood abuser

Not good when you meet someone bragging about driving people crazy. Neighborhood kids around this employer and other employee’s kids shared the same problems…

Delusional, but wanted to say this and put this version on the table.


It’s one of the most genetic mental disorders.

I found this page useful.


I think the biopsychosocial model is the best fit for psychosis/schizophrenia along with diathesis-stress.
Having said that I have no recent relatives with psychosis though a few distant maternal relatives that might if alive now have been considered psychotic.
However according to you @notmoses the genetic connection can be quite a few generations back. If so does this suggest a gene or genes for psychosis can be benignly passed through generations until it has a non benign effect on one or more individuals in a current generation ?
At what point generationally does the genetic risk for psychosis/schizophrenia taper off ?

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It’s all about “intergenerational genetic concentration” or lack thereof.

The carriers of the genes that induce predispositions for sz would have children with partners who carry very few genes over the course of several generations (this would be genetic “diffusion”).

The problem is that it looks to that while that does happen in some cases, the opposite circumstance (concentration) is also likely because of socialization and normalization to sz-type behavior + social exclusion of sz sufferers from the non-carrying population.

What does stand out is a certain familial propensity to paranoia . Myself (bullying at school) My mother (could get quite paranoid when drinking too much) My brother (Has got more paranoid over time. Long time drug user. Mainly cannabis) My sister (When depressed told me she had (mild) paranoid feelings about her work colleagues )
My father as far as I know doesn’t have a paranoid bone in his body.
I am not sure of the paranoia link to psychosis in that paranoia can and does occur in non psychotic form.
Maybe there is no link between familial paranoia and familial psychosis?

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While it is associated with inflammation of the components and connecting nerual tracks in the limbic system leading to the hypothalamic > pituitary > adrenal axis that sets off the “fight or flight” response in the autonomic nervous system (see Sapolsky, McEwen, Lupien, Levine and van der Kolk), paranoia is essentially verbal-symbolic (and thus, cognitive). It is not something that can be transmitted genetically (so far as anyone yet knows), but is transmitted by behavioral modeling, usually by a parent (or both parents). The children of such parents may become unconsciously socialized, accustomed, habituated, and then normalized to the “paranoid point of view” or “interpretive style.”

Most (all? very likely) of the books listed below describe this pattern of “subtle normalization.”

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: HarperCollins, 1997.

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.

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

Anonymous: Adult Children of Alcoholics: Alcoholic / Dysfunctional Families, Torrance, CA: ACA World Service Office, 2006.

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

Genetic: Neither of my parants or any other family member that i know had sz or bipolar or any other mental illness
Environmental - somewhat of social isolation, stress due to failure and constant negativity in my philosophical outlook

Overall i believe that if there were any reasons behind this ‘illness’ which i have experienced then it is only a matter of environment not of genetics.

Genetic:No known history of sz in my family either.

Environmental: extreme stress all throughout childhood to early adulthood, very stressful job, negative philosophy, isolation(sometimes going 2 months without talking to anybody, except the hi to the store clerk, even online), smoking cannabis almost every other day for a period of few months. Also, my mother is the master of what they call puzzling, conflicting messages; what I mean is sentences that are impossible to integrate as transmitted, require thinking about them before you can make sense of their meaning, this is common with families where sz people come from. Also I was was abused and neglected as a child.


Shared genetic risk factors for two of the cluster A PDs are highly stable in adults over a 10-year period while environmental risk factors are relatively transient. Over two-thirds of the long-term stability of the common cluster A PD liability can be attributed to genetic influences.

Reading around the link of genetics to paranoia seems to be inconclusive rather than necessarily non existent.

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I think it is. My aunt also suffers from sz

As I have said before, one way I have heard it put it is that genetics loads the gun, and the environment pulls the trigger.


No schizophrenia in my family but my mother told me her great aunt could move objects with her mind :smile:


That’s one great metaphor. (Will you sell me the use rights?) ( :smiley: )


I got it from the radio. I think Michael J. Fox said it.

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YES. You’re right; he did say that. I think I saw it on YouTube.

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i got it from a doorknob .