It’s a usual busy morning for me with a family, well-educated people who are informed about the problems. It was just few minutes into history that the blame game started between the couple. The husband thinks that it’s the wife’s overprotective behaviour and not allowing their son to take responsibility which led to inability of the son to face situations leading to stress and then to schizophrenia. While the wife on the other hand felt that it is over discipline and strict nature of her husband led to the son’s submissive attitude, leading to the illness.
Both had researched about Schizophrenia and were well informed about the illness and the various ways of its presentations. They had also read some blogs which had spoken about parenting styles leading to mental illness. Though it was very difficult to dismiss any of their point of views which were filled with logic, it had provided ample opportunity for the family therapist to work with them.
It is generally believed that Genetics and Environment (Nature Vs Nurture) have an equal weight-age in causing Schizophrenia. This also leads to measures and arguments for prevention. If only we knew that a particular person can go on to develop Schizophrenia.
There are many studies indicating environmental factors during pregnancy, during delivery, early stages of development. And also early adolescence as being one of the factors which might have led to injury to the brain, and leading to Schizophrenia. But there is no direct causality that has been established.
There is every reason to believe that both Genetics (hereditary factors). And also Environmental factors (the way person is brought up and situations in which he is brought up) have an impact on leading to the development of Schizophrenia. In no case is it helpful or necessary to blame a family member-be it parents, or grandparents, or spouse. However, it will help if they as a family work as one unit and support the individual. This is always the need of the hour. Recovery is smooth and easy.
Dr Sunil MR