Good morning sir/madam: we are an old couple who failed to convince our only son to refrain from marrying the daughter of a schizophrenic mother .we informed him that schizophrenia according to doctors is a hereditary condition but he sees himself as a hero/rescuer and is firm about marrying her. both of us need advice and counseling as we are in despair.we have had a hard life and i in particular have struggled against great odds while my husband just gave up and stayed home -to raise our only son only to see him throw away his life to please a girl who i feel should not marry at all given her history of psychotic illness in the family.please help us .we approached pastors who told us to simply submit to The Lords will/purpose.we feel tormented and need your support and wise counsel in this hour of trial.please help usMy Husband and I Are Anguished as Our Son Insists on Marrying Daughter of Schizophrenic
My Husband and I Are Anguished as Our Son Insists on Marrying Daughter of Schizophrenic
How schizophrenia develops remains a mystery. Schizophrenia affects about 1% of the population. Having a relative with the disorder slightly increases one’s chances of developing schizophrenia. The vast majority of children, where one or both parents have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, never develop schizophrenia.
Your son’s potential wife has an increased chance of developing schizophrenia, but that does not mean that she will, in fact she most likely won’t. Genes may be involved in the development of schizophrenia but that is only part of the story. There are other variables involved, including stress level, socioeconomic status, illicit substance use, history of abuse and trauma, among others.
It seems as though you’ve resigned yourself to the idea that her developing schizophrenia is inevitable, but that certainly is not true. In reality, her odds of developing schizophrenia are only slightly higher than yours or your son’s.
Your level of concern should match the likelihood of a particular event occurring. In this case, there is a high probability that she will not develop schizophrenia. Given those odds, your concern level should be relatively low.
Schizophrenia can be successfully treated. It is a complicated illness but those afflicted can live happy, symptom-free lives.
Studies have also found that supportive family members can positively influence psychotic illness outcomes. Love does not cure schizophrenia but the more supportive the family, the fewer the possible episodes.
If you have additional questions or information that you would like to provide, please don’t hesitate to write again. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle