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Causing Mental Illness

Difficult questions

DID we cause our son's schizophrenia? After reading Denise Ryan's article (''When abuse derails learning'', Education, 10/5), I wondered how many other parents were asking themselves the same question.

Our son has severe long-standing schizophrenia. His sister, a year younger, is a fine, well-adjusted person. They had a similar upbringing.

At 17, he presented as cheerful, friendly, a fine sportsman and was recommended to sit for his Higher School Certificate. In the middle of the course the crash came. His friends deserted him and the next 20 years have been a wilderness.

Yes, there seems to be a connection between schizophrenia, depression and upbringing. But this article needed to also explain that, as far as is known, schizophrenia has an inherited component that appears to be triggered by an outside influence in the person's life, eg. marijuana. It can occur in the most stable of families.

Is it just me or is this a bit... off somehow? Though the article he's referring to sounds a bit off too.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 24th, 2010 10:58 pm (UTC)
It doesnt' seem to have a point...
May. 26th, 2010 11:11 am (UTC)
What do you mean by off? I remember this letter, I think he was just saying that the article didn't explain that schizophrenia is largely thought to be caused by biological factors, which might make parents feel guilty over thinking they caused their kid's schizophrenia. Although you would think that if they were in that situation, they would've done some sort of research on the illness themselves...
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )