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Steven Olsen
Steven Olsen, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
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Is Schizoaffective disorder inherited?

Resolved Question:

Is Schizoaffective disorder inherited?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Steven Olsen replied 6 years ago.

The disorder is a combination of bipolar mood disturbance as well as delusions and hallucinations, often resembling schizophrenia. It is genetic, but final inheritance patterns have not been established. However:

Because of Medel's laws of genetic inheritance we all have a better chance at health than ill health. But, some disorders are so dominant in the human genome that if both parents have the disorder the likelihood of having this trait pass on is higher that we would like. This disorder seems to range in the higher 35-50% range if both parents have it. If only one, around 13-%20-%. Each child is different and there is no way to know for certain. But, the odds for this child to inherit the disorder is much greater than those in the average population. Steven

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Would it be beneficial for a person who has this disorder in their family to seek professional help early or do you typically wait until symptoms arise before seeking help?

Is there any preemptive action that can be taken to help minimize symptoms?

Is there any value in the nurture though that a loving home and great parents will help with this?


Expert:  Steven Olsen replied 6 years ago.

Prior to the emergence of symptoms, often in teens or early adulthood, there is not much as far as intervention. The disorder is treated primarily through medications and supportive therapy.

However, the existence of a stable home has been shown to reduce the emergence of certain psychological issues, even chronic ones such as this. In that case the genes for the disorder may be present, but due to the calm, loving home environment the stress that activates them remains off line. It is no guarantee, but it is a good and solid hope.

There is also some very new research that suggests that good nutrition, especially diets rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, D and B can help minimize or even prevent mood issues from emerging. Steven

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