Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Sz Marriage with Children?


#1

:wave: Hello!
I know that some people who suffer from Schizophrenia have had functional relationships and possibly even marriages… but what about children? I have been trying to find anything I possibly can that says a Sz person can be a good, involved parent without having their marriage or self-care suffer. :revolving_hearts:

How does a relationship like that work? Who has time for a job if the healthy individual is acting as a partner, a parent and a caregiver to the family? Has any person heard of ANY POSSIBILITY of this working?

Someone give me hope! :pray: :family: :interrobang:


#2

There’s tons of people who are on welfare (not even disability) who have children, for one their amount augments when they get kids and even if they can’t provide all the time, it doesn’t prevent them from raising a family. Then there’s abusive parents who don’t necessarily have a mental illness but who mistreat their children.

I’m not saying go psychotic and raise kids on benefits but if you are well-recovered, maybe have a nice job and can afford a house, a stable partner, then why not give it a go. Just make sure you’ve got your priorities straight.

Then there’s the issue of passing on the genes for schizophrenia… You hear everywhere schizophrenia is hereditary but not a single person in my family has it. There are tons of scientists and religious people who have what would be deemed as delirious and delusional ideas…

What is schizophrenia? To me it is normal human emotions and experiences exaggerated to a vast degree, they can be worsened by the use of psychedelics and other substances…

I want kids, I would never beat my children and would make the most out of what I have so they can have a great childhood. Naysayers will take no part in raising them so why should they have a say in what is good or not for creating a family for yourself!?


#3

Thank you for taking the time to respond!
I suppose I just worry about the stability of the family dynamic, the stress on the relationship and what level of functioning can be realistically attained.


#4

I can’t speak out of experience but even normies go through difficult times in their marriage. I read somewhere that a schizophrenic kid could be the glue that unites the parents together as they try to help their son/daughter cope with the stress of life. Don’t forget that as schizophrenics we have the privilege of psychiatric follow-ups, some can argue it’s not for the better but having a team of professionals who look after you free of charge can help immensely!

I will know when I meet the right person, and hope I will, by the time it happens I expect to be active in the workforce, if not then so be it, but even if I stay on disability I will not relinquish my dream of having a family!! Might be harder to find someone that agrees to it but it’s possible.

I feel in a way that if I stay away from drugs, keep compliant and try to work my way up the social ladder things can only improve. Should I stay alone until the end of my life, I’ll accept that too, but I think I still have time to catch up on lost opportunities! And so do you!

Having kids is important so you can have someone to rely on when your immediate family is gone, they can bring immense joy, yes the road will be hard, but in the end, very much worth it. :wink:


#5

I’m married and have 2 kids. Had my kids before I got really ill. I’m not sure I would have managed the toddler years being ill. My kids were 5 and 9 when my world turned inside out. I left home and was gone for a year, leaving my husband alone with the kids.

Today we are still married. Kids are 10 and 14. They manage pretty much them selves. I need to cook and make/keep rules. I’m teaching my kids to cook and do the dishes. But I’m pretty stable now. I function pretty much normal except for memory failiure, extremely exhausted after doing work at home and at my job.

It can be done if the sz person is aware of early signs and seek help when needed. Also all family must be involved.


#6

I’m married, stable

a week away makes me slightly psychotic

a year of studying makes me so unwell that i need hospital for 9 months

I hope this isn’t over exaggerating - because i’ve also been mainly well for 9 years

i’m on the right meds and been with partner for 8 years

I’m sure my life would be hell with children and that has stopped me


#7

I imagine, if you’re really dedicated and your partner is supportive and understanding, then a marriage and possibly even children could work out well.

I’m married, and we have kids. I have been mentally ill since my teen years if not earlier. Sometimes I want to run away. Sometimes I have no idea whether or not my spouse actually loves me. Sometimes I feel I’m destroying everyone else’s lives and I should just leave or kill myself.

I know those are terrible thoughts, I’m sorry. But when I think them I think they’re the truth. I would probably be much healthier if I didn’t have a spouse and children, but I can’t change the past. I love them all very much and it’s rewarding to be around them (most of the time… everybody has bad days once in a while!), but it is an immense amount of responsibility, and some days I am just completely exhausted.

I always wish I was better. In a way that’s good – it makes me continue to put a lot of energy into being a good parent – but in other ways it’s very saddening and impossible. I notice a steady decline in my ability to function over the past few years. In five years I might be worse. I’m trying to be happy with doing my best right now, and trying to make each day the best it can be without overexerting myself.

You can’t know what it’s like to have children until you actually have them, and then it’s too late to stop. Just be absolutely sure that you’re OK with putting your own needs behind theirs, and making their health and safety your Number One priority for the next two decades or so. If you can’t know for certain you are OK with doing that, then don’t have kids, for their sake and yours.


#8

It can work, just check out our illustrious moderator @Pixel!!

Let him be the one to tell you.

I’ve been married:
1st time was for 25 years,
2nd time going on 2 years now.
It’s too late for kids at this point, but I’m pretty sure I would have done my absolute best to have done what was good for my kid.


#9

doesnt schizophrenia pass on to the children? if so why would you want to raise kids that will eventually have to live through hell like you do?


#10

Thanks for all the hope and positivity!


#11

It can work, but I’m not sure I get the credit. The plan was to adopt rather than have a kid of our own, but both my wife and I turned out to be more fertile than we had been led to believe, a situation that has since been rectified in my case (snip snip). So, yeah, we have one biological daughter and she’s doing great so far, except for a touch of the autism from my side (another problem I have). She is unable to dampen certain inputs and the only accommodation she has needed in school so far is writing exams in a room by herself as someone tapping a pencil can completely derail her. She has honours grades in every course except for math, which she is passing, but struggles with. She approaches ‘gifted’ in some areas.

She turns 14 next month and seems to have missed out on the juvenile diabetes that runs riot on my mother’s side of the family. She will get it when she is older, we all seem to, but that’s manageable. Now I just have to worry about her making it past the age of 25 (ish) without Sz landing on her like a tonne of bricks.

Our original plan had been to try and adopt or foster, which is still possible for those with Sz if you are stable (I’m VERY stable and med compliant). Also worth mentioning that while I have a mental illness, my wife is as normal as normal can be. It is my opinion that if there are to be kids in the mix, one of the parents had better be free from mental illness (MI). Both parents having MI is almost certainly a recipe for disaster, misery, and lifelong dysfunction/PTSD for the affected child/children. There are exceptions, but they are about as common as winners of the Powerball lottery, statistically speaking.

My 2 cents. Apologies in advance to those I’ve offended, but upsetting people sometimes seems to be my superpower.

Pixel.
(Sz for over 20 years and still going.)


#12

@ pixel - you’re a big inspiration to us, you show us that things can be decent-despite what we might have been told,
as long as we are willing to work with the Dr’s and keep trying to improve rather than lay down and expect a pill to cure our ills.


#13

I have a son and I think I did pretty good. He is a teenager and is very well adjusted and confident and we have a really good relationship. He knows my struggles and it has made him a little protective of me. Still, we play video games and listen to music and watch things like the IT Crowd and things a pretty good.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I am married too and I have part time jobs. I clean lol. Anyway, it can work :smile:


#14

This is so good to hear! :slight_smile:


#15

For the patient, it is vital he knows there would be responsibility entailed with the marriage and parenthood…
It is not going to be part of the daily life unless he uses his capacity as a person to be a productive shepherd… That a normal person would not feel the diffrenece in him. he needs to fight hard everyday in order to be rewarded with stability.

He can! by the way, it is not impossible.


#16

Have you ever read any of Temple Grandin’s books?

and in response to your question @HeadRush, if anyone questions you about your ability to raise children just use this neat little picture I found for you:


#17

:heart_eyes: Love that picture. I’m a crazy cat lady! :cat2: --> @onceapoet

We already have a child, and it is my partner who has Schizophrenia, although I also have a mental illness. My post was quite vague because I wasn’t certain how comfortable he would be if I posted here.
We do have a lot of support in place and so far we’re doing excellently. Some of the nurses from Canada Public Health have said we’re some of the best parents they’ve ever seen. However, I know that I may not always be in the stable condition I am in right now, and my partner hasn’t had much more than a few weeks of stability at a time.

He was going through a very rough spell recently and we were considering separating if it did not improve despite our innovative efforts. This is why I reached out to see if any people with Schizophrenia have children and family.I was looking for advice on how to possible make our strange little family as functional as possible. I LOVE my man SO MUCH and I never want to have to go our separate ways but I am also willing to do anything that might be best for our son.

We’ve since had a long talk and he has been able to pull himself together and keep pushing to improve. Does anyone have any advice for us when it comes to functioning? Anything I can do to help motivate him to communicate when he starts going downhill?

We have a lot of support in place. We each have our own psychiatrist, therapist and crisis care worker. We are part of support groups for mental illness. We have a public health nurse visit us weekly (which is a fantastic program if you live in Canada). We live close to my family for support. Soon we will be starting family therapy as well.

I just worry when he gets to a place where his negative symptoms of schizophrenia get so bad that he doesn’t have the motivation to shower let-alone participate in a relationship or be an active parent. The postive symptoms are mostly under control but soon my Mat. leave will be up and I’ll have to return to work. I’m worried about making enough money to support our family on my own. I am worried that the stress of being a caregiver for my husband and a mother for my child will push me too far. How do I motivate him to take care of himself so that I don’t have to worry about him so much? Is it too much to hope that he’ll be able to contribute more to the household (like chores and stuff)?

I know each person who suffers from an illness experiences it differently, I just want to know how those of you who are very high functioning managed to get there.


#18

You sound like A+ parents. I know one mom who’s kid would have basically won the lottery if she had even 1/10 of the parent you are. The fact that you would be willing to separate from someone you love so much says a lot of positive things about your dedication.

As far as coping I have a hard time talking to my mom about anything so I use a code word. “Bad thoughts” means suicidal. “Not feeling good” usually means something is going on in my head. I don’t know if your husband is comfortable talking to you about different things like suicidal thoughts (if he has them). The code words give me the safe sense of not talking about it while at the same time letting my mom know.

I also have to do things but most “fun” activities are optional like going to see a movie or going on a walk.

I would advise you to give him some responsibilities that he can handle gradually until the chore is all in his hands. If you want him to cook (which sounds like a good idea if you are working) let him be creative. Let him choose what he wants to cook (within reason), how he wants to cook, and in general just let him be creative with it. There’s nothing I hate (this is just me though) than doing something and having someone tell me to do it differently when the outcome is the same. My mom tells me to make suddy water when I wash dishes but I prefer to get a sponge soapy and scrub the pot with it without all the extra water. The dish still gets clean and that’s the point in my eyes.

But don’t dump it all on him at once. Start gradually. Maybe let him choose the laundry soap and softener (if you use it. I don’t know how much of this he knows so I’m just starting with the assumption that he knows nothing). I’ve always found buying my own groceries empowering because I can eat what I want when I want.

Be sure to praise him for what he does right. Everyone likes to be appreciated!

Just remember this is what I think and might have NO bearing on what is actually going on. I’m not good at this whole “people” thing.
I’m sure you two will do wonderfully. :smile:


#19

No, not necessarily. I’m proof of that. Almost 40, happily married, raising two kids. Three college degress. Depression sufferer perhaps, due to my dysfunctional childhood being raised by a father with sz and a mother with BPD, but not schizophrenic.


#20

I hear you loud and clear. I am middle-aged now, but I was raised by both of my married parents. My father had sz before I was born, way before. My mother, who had a prior history of depression, but was fully functioning and a trained nurse, didn’t know my father was schizophrenic when she married him. Somehow, he was able to keep that from her for the short two months that they dated before getting married. I remained an only child.

My mother passed away after 38 years of marriage to my father, who is still living, but has had other health issues, lives o/s from me in an assisted- living home and is almost 80 years old. I am pretty much estranged from him these days. I got tired from the burden of being his carer when my mother got too exhausted to be it. I am speaking from 33 years of experience being raised in a sz home.

It is good that you have support. I grew up in the 80’s when support was even rarer than it is today. My father had his psychiatrist and social worker, but my mother and I got very little in terms of help from them. It was deemed that our role was to be his support/providers of stability instead. Even at age 12, I felt more like my father’s carer than his daughter. He was very emotionally unattached from me and frankly, could be neglectful, forgetting to bathe me or put me to bed on the nights my mother had to work. My mother was a nurse and the basic main breadwinner. Dad had part time work as a cleaner/handyman, but he would leave a job at the drop of a hat if he was unhappy or felt too pushed. He smoked incessantly too, which didn’t help our finances. Then again, so did my mother. We had periods of homelessness and eventually, moved into public housing when my mother had a breakdown and could no longer support the three of us when I was about 12. It is very tough to feel like the only parent and breadwinner when you have a spouse who is physically there but not emotionally or financially supportive. And as you say, when it’s trying just to get them to take care of chores, it can lead to frustration and resentment on your part.

My upbringing kind of worsened as I grew older. I did well in school and managed to get into college, graduate and marry, but I had a bout of post-partum depression after the birth of my son and it took a few years of therapy for me to uncover that the roots of my unhappiness stemmed from my childhood. I am not sure whether she developed it as a result of living for years with my father, but my mother ended up diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder when I was in my late twenties, and I definitely noted over the years that our home life wore her down. But as I said, she had a prior history of depression already, so not to imply that will happen to everyone. She turned very controlling towards me, feeling threatened and jealous as I started to find my own place in life and met my (now) husband. I guess she had relied on me for the emotional (and later, financial) support that my father was unable to provide, so the thought of me leaving the house scared her. After she did pass away suddenly, it was as though my father didn’t really understand what had happened. He was singing and laughing during the wake after her funeral. He has since had a stroke, so I can’t say for sure whether that has played a part, but it seems now like he has forgotten her.

I’m not saying this will happen to you. Firstly, you have what sounds like a good professional support network. I do believe though that Sz often need tough love. I wouldn’t think giving in and enabling him to laze around and not taking responsibility for chores etc is the right kind of “help” for him. He has to understand that you made a joint choice to parent your son, and your son has a right to be taken care of.

I would suggest a good resource by Victoria Secunda called “When Madness Comes Home.” It outlines what the feelings and burdens of spouses (and in particular, offspring) of schizophrenics, live with on a daily basis. A lot of books about sz are self-help guides will tell you (almost lecture you) about the kinds of things you should be doing, but very few actually acknowledge and discuss your own needs. I found that to be a refreshing change.

Best of luck to you.