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Should parents with severe mental illnesses have children?

I have severe clinical depression, and I'm at the point where I feel like I can not take care of my child anymore. She is only 2, and I feel bad for her, that her mom is so emotionally unstable. I'm doing the best I can to take care of her physical and emotional needs, but every day, it's getting harder and harder. Simple things such as preparing a meal for her is too much. She gets fed, but sometimes it's simple things like organic yogurt and whole grain bread with peanut butter. She mostly likes to snack, so that helps alleviate the stress of having to cook meals. I make sure her snacks are nutritious (veggies, whole grains, fruit, water, limited amounts of milk).

My doctor warned me years ago to NEVER, EVER get pregnant, because of my severe depression. Do you think I should have listened to her? I love my daughter so much, but I think she would have been better off with a mentally stable mom.



Asked by Anonymous at 11:55 PM on May. 27, 2010 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • My husband's mom has dimentia, almost like schizophrenia. I must say, I am SO thankful that she DID have kids, even with her severe mental conditions. If she hadn't, my wonderful husband wouldn't be here.

    My mom also has severe depression. Both my husband and I came out of it okay, relatively unscaythed. You might feel like she would be better off, but really, that's part of the depression. You're a wonderful mommy and she needs and loves you. I do think you need some more support, for sure, but no, I don't think you should have listened to your doctor. I think you make a fabulous mother and are going to raise a compassionate, loveable daughter who is lucky to have you.


    Answer by Ati_13 at 12:02 AM on May. 28, 2010

  • OP

    I am a single mom, but am still with her father. I try to tell him how I feel, and that I need him to help out with her more (like take her on a walk so I can take a nap, or just beh ere so I can feel some emotional support, but he just doesn't understand! I feel so alone! I NEED him to step up and help me out, but he doesn't understand what it means to be me.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:57 PM on May. 27, 2010

  • I would have taken the doctors advice. Many mental illnesses are genetic.


    Answer by Anonymous at 11:57 PM on May. 27, 2010

  • Do you have any family or friends that can help you? Is her father in the picture? If you are feeling like you cannot care for her properly anymore, I URGE you to seek the help of family or friends, or even professionals so that your daughter does not end up being neglected or anyhting like that. Have you tried medication? I think that if a person's mental illness affects theirs ability to think clearly and logically, or care for their child, then yes, they should not have children until they are given the okay by a doctor. I don't blame you at all for having your daughter, but I hope you can find some help.

    Answer by Ash9724 at 12:00 AM on May. 28, 2010

  • I should have read the whole thing but I will admit it I didnt =/ If it is a mental illness that is severe...No! If it is something that someone was born with like a handicap, yes of course. i am not saying that people with mental illness are bad people, however it is more than likely that they will not be able to care for the child properly, loose patience, and god only knows what else. Sorry guys JMO.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:09 AM on May. 28, 2010

  • GIrl that is nothing but the devil, rebuke that in the name of Jesus!!!!! I was depressed and thought I was bipolar, I am now healed from all of that, God can change things if you let him, you dont have to be like this! the devil wants you to feel like you cant do things and you are letting him win. Seriously go to a Christian doctor! Get prayed for, go to church, believe it and receive it, by his stripes we are healed, Trust me, its nothing but the devil!

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:19 AM on May. 28, 2010

  • go get on abilify or something along those lines. severe depression like that is usually just a symptom of a chemical imbalance in the brain. get some meds. no shame in it. happy mommas have happy kids, you know.
    and i just want to point out to all the meanies on this page that depressed as you are, you are still caring for your child.

    Answer by princezzmommie at 1:37 AM on May. 28, 2010

  • Depression is very treatable.If you put out the effort to find the correct meds and stay on them life can be soooo much better.All 3 of you deserve this.Please take care of yourself.Look into a Mothers Day Out program in churches.They tend to be non-religious and a few hours a couple days a week.All moms deserve a few free hours.


    Answer by Anonymous at 1:48 AM on May. 28, 2010

  • My mom suffered from PTSD, Chronic Depression and may have also been bipolar. But she was a damn good mom! And you can be too!
    As my mom used to say, "We all do the best we can with what we have".

    Answer by outstandingLove at 1:54 AM on May. 28, 2010

  • and as far as the anon mentioning meds as treatment. ...i must stress that meds are only a band-aid. They don't TREAT the problem, they simply make it more bearable. OP, i strongly encourage you to go to therapy AND use a moderate amount of meds. That's how meds were supposed to be used anyways, in conjunction with therapy

    Answer by outstandingLove at 1:56 AM on May. 28, 2010