Schizophrenia Causes

Covers what schizophrenia is and its potential causes.

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What leads to Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia comes from different sources, including family genes, personal life, and the environment around us. Scientists are still learning more, but they think it’s caused by a mix of these things.

Stressful life events

Life events that cause a lot of stress Events in life that are very stressful or significant changes can occasionally lead to schizophrenia. These events might be:

  • experiencing abuse or harassment
  • the death of someone close to you
  • unemployment
  • feelings of loneliness or being cut off from others
  • financial difficulties
  • losing your home

These tough experiences are often called trauma. Trauma includes both body and mind upset. It can come from one big shock or many smaller ones that really shake a person up.

When something like this happens, it might be too much to handle, leaving lasting marks on someone’s feelings and way of thinking. Knowing about trauma is important because it shows how big events can really upset someone’s mental health. Spotting and dealing with these traumas is key to getting better and feeling okay again.

Drug and alcohol use

Some individuals might start showing signs of schizophrenia after using cannabis or other leisure drugs. Experts are still figuring out if these drugs actually lead to schizophrenia, or if those who get schizophrenia are just more inclined to use these drugs.

If you’re already dealing with schizophrenia, evidence indicates that taking leisure drugs can make your symptoms worse. Research also points out that individuals in recovery who use very strong cannabis, known as ‘skunk’, might face a higher risk of having their symptoms return.

Additionally, drinking alcohol and smoking could interfere with how well your medication works in managing your symptoms.

Genetic Inheritance

You’re at a higher risk of developing schizophrenia if you have a parent or sibling who has had psychosis. Scientists are still trying to figure out the exact reason, but they believe certain genes may play a role in increasing the risk.

Living in a city might make it more likely for someone to get schizophrenia. Cities are busy places with lots of noise, people, and things happening all the time. This can make life quite stressful.

People living in a city might also feel lonely even though there are people everywhere, face more pollution, and see big differences in how rich and poor people live.

All these city-life challenges could add up, making some people more prone to mental health problems like schizophrenia.

Scientists are still trying to figure out exactly how city living does this, but they think it has to do with the extra stress and challenges you find in cities.

Differences in brain chemistry

Research indicates that individuals might have a higher chance of developing schizophrenia if something interrupted their brain development while they were in the womb or during their early years. However, not everyone with schizophrenia shows changes in their brain structure.

In the brains of those experiencing schizophrenia, certain chemicals seem to act differently. One of these chemicals is dopamine, which is important for sending signals between brain cells.

Some studies suggest that schizophrenia might be caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin. These are chemicals that help brain cells communicate with each other.

Medicines used to treat schizophrenia, known as antipsychotics, can work by reducing the levels of dopamine.

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