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Morning Question #6 – Could a father’s meth use cause Schizoaffective Disorder?

Posted Jun 28 2012 5:00am

Schizoaffective Disorder is an unusual condition, though I think it is underdiagnosed. Think about traveling through a swamp full of lots of muck but here and there are some small islands of land. People with Schizoaffective Disorder can have episodes of psychosis, episodes of depression or Bipolar disorder, sometimes both and sometimes neither. Depending on who sees them and when they are seen the diagnosis can change all over the place.  

Mental Health conditions do not seem to be cause by any one gene. Most likely they are cause by the interaction of many genes, risk factors, environmental influences and so on. Dad doing drugs is not likely to have caused that. Sometimes dad was doing drugs because he had a mental illness or there was a history of some disorder in the family that put him at risk.

Mom’s drug use during pregnancy is another matter. The more she uses the bigger the problem. The day she uses can determine what part of baby was developing that day and what was affected. Mom’s drug use can result in mental retardation or learning disabilities but so far I have not seen any research out there that says the parent’s drug use before the child was born changed the child’s genes and caused a mental illness. If someone has seen that please leave a comment.

The parents drug use after the baby is born?  There is all kinds of research that says growing up in the home with a substance abuser can affect a child’s mental health.

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