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Can you please tell me do mental disorders run in family? I recently found out that father of my boyfriend was schizophrenic. I noticed that he has some symptoms too. I don’t know I like him a lot, but I don’t want to live in fear that he may go mad one day, if you know what I mean. Is this hereditary?

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Unfortunately, mental disorders almost always involve more than one gene. Studies have shown that one mental disorder can be caused by different genes on different chromosomes in different populations. It appears that specific mental disorders are related to different sets of genes that vary across family and ethnic groups. I am not sure about schizophrenia, but for example, a person who has a gene associated with susceptibility to alcohol abuse may not develop the disorder if he or she grows up in a family that teaches effective ways to cope with stress and responsible attitudes toward drinking.
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