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What increases my risk for paranoid schizophrenia?

Risk factors for paranoid schizophrenia include genetic factors, birth defects, and life circumstances. Although doctors aren't exactly sure what causes paranoid schizophrenia, they think you might be able to inherit the disorder. This means that you're more likely to have the disorder if you have relatives affected by this condition. In addition, being exposed to certain prenatal conditions, like mother's illnesses or nutritional problems, could make you more likely to develop paranoid schizophrenia. Finally, people who have are under a lot of stress or who have been affected by trauma early in life may be at a greater risk for paranoid schizophrenia.

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
There are two main risk factors that can increase the likelihood that you will develop schizophrenia. First is family. If a parent or sibling has schizophrenia or a delusional disorder, you have a higher risk. Second has to do with your early development, we mean when you were a twinkle in your mom’s eye and a kick in her belly. Research indicates that if your mother was malnourished, had a viral infection, or took certain types of medicines while she was pregnant with you, you may have a higher risk as well. Keep in mind, though, that just because you have a higher risk of developing schizophrenia does not guarantee you actually will.
Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
You are at increased risk for paranoid schizophrenia if you have a family history of schizophrenia. Your risk is increased if you were exposed to viruses in the womb or lacked good nutrition in the womb. Also, stress and the use of certain drugs during adolescence can trigger the illness. Talk to your doctor about your risk factors.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.