Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Mentally Ill Siblings and Resentment

Do any parents here of mentally ill adult children have issues with resentment and/or jealousy or anything else by non-mentally ill adult children?

Gee, I thought resentment went largely with addiction diseases, and I thought schizophrenics and families with schizophrenia had their share of addiction and then some.


If you read through the family boards you find quite a lot of resentful siblings popping up, and some stories from parents.

Sibling rivalry or jealousy can happen in any family. When mental illness is involved then yes it can cause more problems.

So normal adults Have little problem with resentment?

I worry about this issue a lot. There are books and books on the mental illness shelf that also talk about the forgotten sibling… the healthy one who is ignored.

There are so many books on the forgotten sibling… the parents time, money and energy goes into the child who is struggling leaving the healthy sibling completely neglected.

Some parents realize they are doing this and try to fix it… some times it doesn’t go so well.

I am the oldest from a pretty large family. (4 boys and 1 girl) I’m the one with this illness. Family dynamics is a pretty interesting thing. Birth order and how it effects personality and all that.

Through family therapy I’ve found that there has been a lot of resentment flying around from my younger brothers.
I have one slightly younger brother who I’m thinking pretty much hates me… and most likely always will. The other two brothers and I are now trying to repair the friendships… it’s getting better.

My sister is youngest and by odd luck… she and I are very close. She’s been a very large support in my life. A book that she used to carry around all the time was…

Yes! My son has 2 younger sisters. Im afraid I wasnt there alot for them because I was the only one helping my son. My youngest thought my son was the favorite!
None of us were equipped to handle this from the start.
I hope as they all mature, they can mend some things that I cant. Ive tried. My ex and I have started working together a little.
A few here have given me the advice to not try to force anything. I am just letting it go. My relationship with my youngest girl is still not good. She hasnt spoken with me in a few tears-though she does have some other issues that have nothing to do with her brother. My oldest daughter hasnt quite forgiven her brother for some past things.
Because we all had our own ideas on how to deal-and what was really wrong with my son-we all kind of split off.
That book above—looks like something I would like to get!
I hope in time, everyone will come around—I think they will…Good luck

My brother is a year and a half younger than me, just turned 26.

My mother thinks I resent her in the sense that I hate the attention on my brother, which isn’t quite true… I am furious with her however (and acknowledge this is supremely unhelpful…) because she did not tell me that my brother was suicidial … (he’s out of imminent danger now and clawing his way back up. Slowly). The reason I didn’t know how serious it was was because my brother stopped talking to me about 3 months ago. (He was talking about moving across the Atlantic to be with a very new girlfriend… I said maybe that wasn’t the best idea at such an early stage and that was enough… Sadly she turned out to be a pretty catastrophic influence, also mentally ill - now out of his life, I think)

He NEEDS the attention right now and I don’t begrudge that… But I DO resent not being told something of that gravity and also the fact that she’s been very… Controlling. As he was just about getting over the edge of his suicidal phase I expressed concerns about who was keeping an eye on him - or not. My mums reaction was to break down and round on me for ‘telling her what to do’ and ‘making her feel guilty’. We are all adults and not involving your healthy children in the process at all can be a huge punishment. I’m having to switch off how I feel about both of them because no one is giving me a way in. And that, not the attention on him, upsets me.

There’s clearly a balance between leaning on your adult children too much and shutting them out completely. But in my experience. If you can balance those, I would suggest that attention on the sibling who’s ill is not the problem.