Family and Familial Schizophrenia Cases Essay

Schizophrenia is a severe psychological disorder characterized by loss of contact with reality, hallucinations, delusions, inappropriate or flat effect, some disturbance in thinking, social withdrawal and/or other bizarre behavior. Schizophrenia does not only affect the person who has it, it affects their family. I’m going to discuss my daughter Jessica. She has not been the child I gave birth to since 1995. Tuesday morning, June 1995 I awoke to Jessica sitting on my chest with a butcher knife to my throat and she was chanting” you will never die.

Jessica began her spiral to being properly diagnosed in 1991 when she started cutting up her clothes and hurting her siblings. She was having major issues in school as well. School was easy for Jessica, she is extremely bright. Jessica learned to read chapter books by the age of 4, she wrote cursive at 6. We just thought she was super smart. She even could program a VCR. Then life for her changed. This beautiful, bright, fun, happy little girl changed.

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She began the outcry of something wrong. I took her to the best hospital, Children’s Hospital of Boston, MA.Over a period of months of testing and monitoring and forms for home, school and other family members, they finally gave us a cause for this change. They were skeptical at first because she was so young, but it was schizophrenia.

In 1994 Jessica was eight years old. A cocktail of medication was prescribed; a local psychiatrist and counselor were referred. As the years passed and I tried to research schizophrenia to understand what was happening to her but schizophrenia is so mysterious, it seems to change every day. I did the best I could to help her and my family understand what was happening to her.Jessica was not only a roller coaster of medication taking, criminal activity and bad sexual behavior on top of street drug use. May of 2006 at the age of 17 she had Brynne. Brynne came home with me from the hospital.

Jessica’s drug behavior caused complications for Brynne. This did not stop Jessica, she continued her behaviors, the criminal and drug activity increased. She then turned 18 and basically told me to screw she was a legal adult and didn’t have to take her medication. February 2006, Ryan came to live with me. January 2007, Hayleigh came and April 2008, came Shawn.Jessica has babies and because she can’t take care of herself they come to me.

Jessica chooses not to be a part of the children’s life on a regular basis. She only wants to see or talk to them when she has a new man to impress or the drugs run out. She doesn’t comprehend what she is doing to them or what she passed to them and the help and caring for them is the most important thing. She feels she doesn’t need medication or help. She doesn’t care that I have had them since birth. She doesn’t even care about their mental wellness. All four children have separation anxiety.Brynne has ADHD, sleep walks, and still wears pull ups to bed at night.

She takes non-stimulant ADHD med and sleeping medications. Ryan has severe ADHD, OCD, without medication he can’t talk and has extreme rapid eye movement. He takes a high dose of stimulant ADHD medication and a med for the OCD.

Hayleigh has mood disorder; she is not on medication at this time. We’re trying different sleep patterns and quiet time techniques with her to help her. Shawn was just diagnosed with ADHD, were awaiting our next appointment to see if he needs medication or just therapy.The three older children know Jessica is there Bio-mom but also know she makes bad choices that’s why they live with Nana and Papa. Shawn has no idea who Jessica is.

He has only seen her a few times in his life. Jessica is not allowed to see or talk to her children. Her criminal behavior and mistreatment of them is why she cannot see them. I knew when this project came I wanted to do schizophrenia because of Jessica. During my new research I found multiple studies on genetics linking schizophrenia that I never knew. I knew heredity was a factor but never knew about the studies.There are studies about how young the birth mother is when child is born could have effect on the schizophrenic child, the study was done on children who have schizophrenia born between 1950 thru 1976.

The data explained the birth order and age of mother who had the child had a major bearing factor (I was 17 when I had Jessica) Also, the age difference between the siblings. Jessica is 16 months younger and 4 years older than her siblings. The study showed in birth order the second child had schizophrenia with an onset age under 20.

Haukka, Suvisaari, Lonnqvist, 2004) Genetic factors also include X chromosome aneuploidies. This study states Etiologic studies have identified an enormous number of schizophrenia associated prenatal and postnatal factors. Defects in miRNA on the X chromosome, altering the interactions between miRNAs and their mRNA targets may contribute to schizophrenia. Common chromosomal anomalies, the 47,XXXY and 47, XXX karyotypes have 4-6 times greater risk for schizophrenia in comparison to the general population. FISH studies, subtelometric rearrangements associated with schizophrenia are identified.Macrocephaly, malformed ears, high-arched palate, slanted palpebral fissures, syndactyly of toes, dermatoglyphic changes were the most common. ( Koc, Karaoguz, Cosar, Percin, Sahin, Baysak, Acikyurek 2010) Jessica has a large head but was never diagnosed with macrocephaly, she has deformed ears high arched palate she has, extensive dental work was done, and syndactyly of toes caused multiple surgeries to her feet, which weren’t discovered until middle school.

She was also born with deforming eczema. After all this research I wonder did I pass this on to her. Why was it only her?These were not things I was never told about nor did I find them in my earlier research. I don’t blame myself but it makes me feel like no matter what, with all these factors all of my children could have had this, but it was just her. I also wonder since I have her children which one or all of them are going to be diagnosed one day with schizophrenia? How many families don’t realize this disorder starts in the womb? As of today Jessica has been a major drug addict for two years. She is linked to the Kay Jewelers robberies and the Manchester Credit Union Bank robbery.

She has incarcerated three times and has been married twice, non to any of the children’s fathers and has assaulted her father twice. This is not my daughter. My husband and I have used most of our savings and energy over the years to help her even trying to trace family history for schizophrenia to no avail. We with broken hearts and spirits have had to cut all ties with her.

It is the absolute most horrible feeling in the world to us. I would never wish this disorder on anyone or any family. She is constantly on my mind and because the things she has done to the children in the past we can’t even say her name.It’s awful she’d still my daughter and I love and miss her dearly but she left us in 1995 never to return. BMC Psychiatry, Family structure and risk factors for Schizophrenia: case- sibling study.

Jarik Haukka, Joana Suvisaari, Jouko Lonnquist 2004 International Journal of Psychiatry Informa Healthcare The Importance of systemic genetic approach to familial schizophrenia cases and discussion of cryptic mosaic X chromosome aneuploidies in schizophrenia pathogenesis. Altug Koc, Meral Yirmibes Karaogus, Behcet Cosar, E. Ferda Percin, Selda Sahin, Erkan Baysak, Kardem Acikyurek 2010


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