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If I have a mental illness, will my children inherit it. What can I do to help them now.

I am suffering from a pretty crippling mental illness. I am not sure how to protect my children from it. My moods change so rapidly, and I don't want them to get caught up in the storm.

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Asked by Anonymous at 12:56 PM on Dec. 4, 2008 in Health

Answers (8)
  • honestly if you are that worried about your children, you shouldn't have them. I had a very angry mother who had violent rages and was abusive. she would just fly off the handle and then act like nothing happened. I struggle to this day not to be that way, my sister has turned out to be very outspoken and angry with her children and my brother struggles with his kids the way I do, he used to be very outraged like she was though and just fly off the handle. I've caught myself almost go there with my daughter and have yelled at her seceral times that I could just kill myself for b/c it wasn't her fault. you have to try your best to control yourself for you children or send them to someone else

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:00 PM on Dec. 4, 2008

  • Can you go into deeper detail about your illness?Do you think you have Bi-polar depression or do you think you are moody?How do you know it's a mental illness?Have you seen a mental health doctor?Even if your children inherit it,there's a better chance of them getting relief from it ,with todays medicine,so I wouldn't worry about it.It's good to know what your symptoms are,so you and others can better help you...

    Answer by countingsparows at 1:06 PM on Dec. 4, 2008

  • Whether or not your children will inherit it depends on several factors. What kind of illness is it? (Is it an illness that has a genetic component?) Does the children's father also have it? What about other family members?

    Since you seem to be worried about the effect of your unstable moods on your children, you could try to find other ways to provide them with stability. My step-mother has bipolar disorder and it is not very well controlled, so my 8 year old brother has a nanny that has been a part of his life since he was a baby. Her steady presence helps him stay grounded when mom is having a bad stretch, a manic episode or a depressive episode. So is there someone else in your kids' life who can step in when things are bad for you, so that life can remain relatively stable for kids and you can step aside and just worry about taking care of yourself?

    Answer by BlueFrogMama at 1:07 PM on Dec. 4, 2008

  • (cont)

    Are you under regular psychiatric care? Are you taking care of yourself? The best thing you can do for your kids is set an example for them of how to make the best of this.

    Answer by BlueFrogMama at 1:07 PM on Dec. 4, 2008

  • I have done a lot of research on this and most times it is the male offspring that inherit. My ex husband got it from his mom and my brother got it from my mom. My sister and I do have some things we can contribute to mom, but not as severe as my brother. I think the best thing to do is when you see something in your kids that reminds you of your own illness have them evaluated just to make sure. Maybe it would help if you did more research about your illness and talk with them about it and make sure they know they can talk about it with you and maybe y'all can work together to make it less demanding on your lives. You can't stop it, but you can help them control it if they get it.

    I hope this helps some at least.

    Answer by Geminus at 1:13 PM on Dec. 4, 2008

  • I dont know what mental illness you suffer from but there are plenty things you can do to imporve your own life as well as your children.

    I think the best way is to lead by example anyway. Eat a diet high in fruits and greens (green smoothies are excellent everyday drinks). Get plenty of fresh air, exercise and sunlight daily. Try to treat your children with love and reason as opposed to rewards and punishment (see excellent book). Make sure you are being social.


    Answer by keyaziz at 1:25 PM on Dec. 4, 2008

  • I would think your children would have a genetic predisposition to mental illness but I think what could trigger it is by picking up behaviors from you or stressful life if you have a calm peaceful environment and show good healthy lifestyle habits, they should be fine.

    Answer by keyaziz at 1:27 PM on Dec. 4, 2008

  • I will leave it at this and say, my god has a very funny sense of humor, and so did my psychatrist when he told me that my children have a 1 in 4 chance of inheriting my mental illness. Ironically my son sadly has been diagnosed with my same illness and hope that my daughter wont get it...The apple truely doesn't fall to far from the tree...sorry

    Answer by booshay0069 at 5:53 PM on Apr. 2, 2009

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