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Could I be schizophrenic

Hi,

I was wondering what is the chance of me being schizophrenic if my dad has it really bad and I already have other mental health issues. Also my Grandad has it too?

Thanks for reading this!

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that can affect how someone views the world. It's a type of psychosis - which is when someone finds it difficult to work out what’s real and what's imaginary. Nobody knows for sure what causes someone to develop schizophrenia but there are some things which might increase the chances you do. It’s important to remember though that you may never get schizophrenia, but if you do there are treatments and help available.

You’re right that if someone in your family has had schizophrenia you may have an increased risk of developing it too. But this doesn't mean that you’ll definitely get it. An increased risk just means you might need to be more aware of your mental health and be aware of any triggers. Although we don’t know what causes schizophrenia, there are a few things which are thought could trigger it.

Stress is thought to be something that can trigger psychosis in some people. This could be the stress of work or school, or pressure from family relationships and friends. Big life changes can also be a trigger for psychosis - such as losing a job or someone you love or your home.

Some drugs have also been linked to developing psychosis. Research hasn't shown there’s a direct link but it's thought that people who are at risk of schizophrenia should avoid taking drugs like cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and LSD.

The best thing to do is to talk to your GP about your concerns. They’ll be able to help you understand the risks and give you advice about anything you’re worried about. Childline has advice about how to talk to your doctor.

You can also contact a Childline counsellor for support – they are always there to listen. You could also post on Childline’s message boards and get tips and advice from other young people.

Thanks for writing to me about this, I hope this has helped.

Take care,

Sam

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