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

By David Joel Miller.

Schizoaffective Disorder and Meth use.

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. Sometimes you have one foot on land, sometimes two and other times none. 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 caused by any one gene. Most likely they are caused 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 the 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 parent’s 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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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books


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

  1. Pingback: What are Morning Questions? | counselorssoapbox

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