Growing up with a schizophrenic father

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growing up with a schizophrenic father

Growing Up with a Schizophrenic Mother by Margaret J. Brown

An estimated two to three million people in the United States today were raised by a schizophrenic parent. Brown and Roberts offer a unique book based on interviews with over forty adult children of mothers diagnosed as schizophrenic. Such topics as the isolation their family felt, their chaotic home environments, their present relationships with their mothers, and the lost potential of mother and child are covered. Their stories are fascinating and provide important information to both the mental health community and the lay public. The offspring have been described as having higher rates of increased aggressivity and sibling conflict, but often their circumstances strengthened these children and contributed to artistic and creative talents, resiliency, and high achievements. The authors provide an overview of schizophrenia, behaviors of the affected parent, and the marital relationship of the patient and her non-schizophrenic spouse. As adults, the respondents now share their grievances about the psychological community--what they needed and did not get. Brown and Roberts then present suggestions for treatment of affected children aimed at psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and health care providers.
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Published 21.10.2019

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At the age of 41, I feel as if I will never be truly happy, despite having a good marriage and two fantastic children. I harbour fears that I am just not good enough and that my extended family do not love me. My much older father was schizophrenic. He was abusive emotionally and sometimes physically. My younger sister and I were sworn to silence about it and were terrified that he would kill us if anyone found out.

For years I never even considered having children. I kept telling myself that if I was in the right partnership the answer would become clear. There is some truth to that. There are a lot more truths to that as well. My father has schizophrenia. Some people believe schizophrenia is genetic.

Growing up with a parent having mental illness can have negative impact on offsprings. However, it can also have positive effects in terms of developing.
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This hits very close to home for me. My father was a paranoid schizophrenic…except he couldn't hold it together. He had auditory and visual hallucinations and for him, it was all wrapped up in God and Jesus. Unfortunately, my brother has inherited the same disorder. I watched my father and then my brother destroy the lives of my grandparents on both sides of the family , and I made a decision a long time ago almost 20 years ago now that for my own sanity and to protect myself, I couldn't have anything to do with them.


  1. Huon T. says:

    As a mental health advocate, I've listened to many brave souls share their stories about living with mental illness.

  2. Katrina A. says:

    You Are Not Alone

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