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How you feel your mental health had effected your children?

I am very aware of how my mental illness may effect my children. I choose to look upon this as a silent blessing for my children as they are getting the education, understanding & awareness that I believe will make them more resilient, compassionate & tolerate people. Any thoughts?

6 REPLIES 6

Re: How you feel your mental health had effected your children?

So true. They are likely to be compassionate and caring people who understand that life is not always simple. There is support for children with parents with mental illness though. Check out COPMI (children of parents with mental illness) and the Young Carer program, and the Kookaburra Kids program. Hope that helps a bit.

Re: How you feel your mental health had effected your children?

As a father of 2 (5 years and 11 years old) and a sufferer of PTSD and major depressive disorder, I'm acutely aware of potential impacts of my conditions on my kids. They are a hugte inspiration to remain in recovery.

 

I really like your way of thinking about this issue. Children need to come to understand mental health issues just as they come to understand other pathologies. People get sick, they reach out for support and treatment, and most of the time they get better or at least get the help they need to manage chronic conditions.

 

- Pax

 

Re: How you feel your mental health had effected your children?

I have step children, and I've found that when we communicate directly, they have asked me, like most kids that know me, about my scars and if they hurt. Their only concern is if they are painful, and when I tell them they aren't painful they smile and continue on with whatever else they were doing. Kids arefar less judgemental than adults, I find. 

They are still very young, both being under 11 years old and I know the youngest has questions about my partners illness but it just isn't appropriate to try to explain this stuff to him yet. My partner does have a collection of information on parenting with mental illness and parenting after separation which I'm sure is helpful.

Re: How you feel your mental health had effected your children?

I agree. Everyone needs to learn compassion and tolerance of others. Children that grow up in an environment where there is open communication between parent/carer and child can only benefit.

Re: How you feel your mental health had effected your children?

This is a great thread. It helps to dispel stigma at a grass roots level within our community and that is family. I am sure that as a result children who have parents with mental health concerns and are in a position of being a part of their support and caring will become more compassionate and loving people themselves.

Thanks to those sharing in this thread.

Re: How you feel your mental health had effected your children?

I agree Exhale, totally. My children have learnt so much from their brother with his mental struggles - I feel passionately that this knowledge and experience can only send them out into the world with valuable education, not possible to learn any other way than through experience. We certainly discuss my son's struggles openly and respectfully with our extended family, and this can only serve to educate and enlighten those around us to remove the lack of education and knowledge surrounding mental health. I was brought up in a family where mental health was shoved 'under the carpet' - along with many other things! ('bulging carpets' I call them!) and because I was so naive about mental health, it has taken me so much longer to recognise, accept and learn my role as a mother to such an unwell lad. 'Every cloud has a silver lining' and a positive educational lining is just one of them, to make us stronger and a whole heap more empathetic. It was wonderful to read your positive outlook.

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