Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

I am having trouble determining my Father's mental health

Hello, I found myself at this site in search of support for my family’s mental health. Now I am convinced my Father is schizophrenic and he has refused medical and psychotherapeutic help. Medication and one-on-one personal support has been declined on his own behalf. He has only my Mother, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, to guide him through life. They are both unable to work. I was taken from them in 2007 and placed into foster care where I quickly settled with adoption with my current residence. I recently visited my parents this summer and met my Father for the first time since 2007. I have regularly visited my Mother since 2007, but I was told to stay away from my Father ordered in court. When I met him I noticed he shows little to no emotion. He doesn’t like to show his smile. I spent one night with them and my Father did not sleep. He spends most of his time angry because of my absence in his life. He yells and rants about “killing the government.” I noticed media seems to calm him down as it does for me. He spent the night watching movies and ranting to me. He is so restless. He knows little English. He also believes that my first language, Chinese, will come back even though I haven’t spoke Chinese since my placement in foster care. During my time with my birth parents, my Father’s behavior followed a cycle of being a loving father, trying to get me to understand Chinese again, and ranting and yelling. I also noticed he is a VERY patient man. Compulsive to talk to me, but very patient. I would like to figure this out so that I can plan ahead for what’s to become of my own mental health.

There is no prediction or guarantee that you “will” or “will not” have mental health problems based on your parents’ situations. Genetics may play a part, or may not… It is NOT predictable with any certainty. My daughter is schizophrenic, is disabled by it, and developed it in her 30’s. There is NO other serious mental illness in her genetic line, going back 3 generations. Her siblings (3 of them) are fine.

Now that you are an adult, you will make choices for yourself, and I suggest simply that you take the best care you can of yourself: eat right, sleep enough, work hard, build a life, and perhaps you will need to continue to stay away from your parents. DO NOT allow your father to make you feel like you are the cause of his illness or anger. Most likely you had nothing to do with it.

I wish you luck in your future, you most likely will have to build your future for yourself, without help from parents (and possibly with harm from parents, unfortunately, if you stay connected to them). It may be best to not involve yourself too much with them. It sounds like the courts took you away from them for good reason.