Local Doctor Explains Possibility of Schizophrenia Being Inherited
WESLACO – Mental health experts said there’s only about two percent of the general population diagnosed with schizophrenia.
They said those who have the disorder are more likely to pass it on to future generations.
Dr. Daniel Gutierrez, a psychiatrist and chief medical officer with Tropical Texas Behavioral Health, said people suffering with schizophrenia have bouts with paranoia, hear voices, hallucinate and have trouble being social.
He said symptoms usually start in their late teens to early 20s.
Doctors don’t know all of the contributing factors, but they do know there’s a greater risk if a family member has it.
Nina Worley and her family have seen the diagnosis affect other family members.
Worley’s mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia 34 year ago. Now three more family members were diagnosed.
“Two siblings and another close family member,” she said.
“If you have both sides with risk factors then it increases the likelihood, or you have very strong genes in several generations then it increases the odds of having it too,” Dr. Gutierrez said.
He emphasized although there’s definitely a strong component of genetic risk of getting schizophrenia, it doesn’t mean everyone will get it.
For more information and stories visit Heart of the Valley: Mental Health.