Is Schizophrenia a Genetic Disorder?

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Schizophrenia can create a lot of strain on the person who has this condition as well as their loved ones. They often struggle to figure out how to manage this challenging condition but also wonder what caused it to happen. “Is schizophrenia genetic?” is a common question and there isn’t just one simple answer. We explore this topic and how schizophrenia is treated in order to help people understand the nature of this mental health disorder. 

Is Schizophrenia Genetic?

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that falls under the heading of psychosis. It alters a person’s ability to think and their perceptions of reality and their own selves. Onset commonly happens from the person’s late teenage years to their early 30s. Someone who has a family member with schizophrenia may begin to look for early warning signs of developing this disorder themselves. 

Is schizophrenia genetic? Many people can find an explanation for why they developed schizophrenia in their genetics. There isn’t just one gene that causes schizophrenia. Instead, it takes genetic mutations that occur in order to create this disease in a person or increase the chances they will get it. If a person has a close family member with schizophrenia, including a parent or sibling, they have an increase of 10% in developing the illness themselves. If both of their parents have it, the child has a 40% chance of developing it. Also, if the person has an identical twin with schizophrenia, they have a 50% chance of also having it. 

What Causes Schizophrenia?

While the answer to “Is schizophrenia genetic?” can be yes for many, it’s not the only cause of developing this mental illness. A change or mutation in a person’s genes can cause them to develop this mental illness despite having no family history of it. It can be one specific gene change but is more likely to come from several small changes that increase a person’s risk of getting schizophrenia. 

A person who used psychoactive or psychotropic drugs like LSD or methamphetamines can also develop schizophrenia as a result. The younger the person is when they start using these drugs and if they use them frequently both can influence this development.

Other influencing factors include if the person has an autoimmune disease or experienced complications during pregnancy or birth. These include premature labor, low birth weight, lack of oxygen during birth, and exposure to bacteria or viruses. 

Is schizophrenia a genetic disorder

Medicine Used for Schizophrenia

Medications can be used that can offer relief from symptoms of schizophrenia. When taken regularly and as directed, these prescription medications can help a person feel more peaceful in their thought processes and better able to address the daily tasks of their lives. The healthcare provider who prescribes the medications should monitor the person while they take them for any side effects they may experience. They can adjust the dosage or change the type of meds, if necessary. 

If the individual with schizophrenia needs help in taking medicine, a loved one who sees them regularly can help with this. They can learn what medication their loved one is using, how often they should take it, and look for any signs of progress or side effects.

Antipsychotic medications are usually the first line of defense when treating schizophrenia. Common antipsychotic medications and their brand names include the following:


  • Aripiprazole (Abilify)
  • Asenapine (Saphris)
  • Brexpiprazole (Rexulti)
  • Cariprazine (Vraylar)
  • Clozapine (Clozaril)
  • Iloperidone (Fanapt)
  • Lurasidone (Latuda)
  • Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
  • Paliperidone (Invega Sustenna)
  • Quetiapine (Seroquel)
  • Risperidone (Risperdal)
  • Ziprasidone (Geodon)

Other prescription drugs that may provide benefits include anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications. 

How to Find the Best Treatment for Schizophrenia

When someone has schizophrenia, it impacts their lives in a way they and their loved ones cannot ignore. Someone with this mental health disorder needs professional treatment that gets to the heart of the illness and helps people learn to manage their symptoms. Zenith Behavioral Health in Phoenix provides up-to-date therapeutic approaches and medications that help people with schizophrenia sort out the daily challenges of living with this mental illness. 

Visit our admissions page today to find out more about how our schizophrenia program works. We can answer your questions and help you get started.