January 14, 2006

Blog Reviews - Wife, Children and Schizophrenia

Some good blogs that we've recently come across:

Up The Down Escalator - the life of a husband caring for his schizophrenic wife...

In another blog, there is a focus on the children of the mentally ill. The blog states:

There is an interesting commentary in this month's Current Psychiatry by William Campbell entitled "Remember the kids when parents are ill." He reminds us that in families where a psychiatric disorder can cause functional impairment in a parent, their ability to care for dependent children can also be somewhat compromised.

While his article is short and leaves the reader wishing that he had developed his ideas more, the message is an important one that can help make a difference in a child's life. Often information about the children of mentally ill parents is anecdotal but there is a research base that serves to highlight some of the needs of these kids.

See the full blog Psychnotes, and see the entire Child entry titled: Remember the kids when the parents are ill

The article in "Current Psychiatry" suggests:

When evaluating and treating adults, keep in mind that mental disorders may cause functional impairment that hinders parents’ ability to care for dependent children. Certain disorders—such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder—are often associated with substantial functional impairment. Failure to consider the impact of the functional impairment on a parent’s caretaking responsibilities can place dependent children at risk.

Don’t forget the kids. Ask adult patients with psychiatric conditions if they have dependent children in their care. If they do, determine if any functional impairment resulting from the mental disorder is impacting the patient’s ability to care for the children or places children at imminent risk of harm.


Use techniques similar to those for assessing suicidal thoughts. Begin with a normalizing statement such as, “Sometimes, when people have symptoms like those you are describing, they have thoughts of harming their children.” Then follow up with a direct question using unambiguous language: “Have you had any thoughts of hurting or killing your children?” When patients endorse such thoughts, explore whether they have formulated a plan and assess whether they intend to follow through with it.

Source: Remember the kids when parents are ill, Clinical Psychiatry


I need to know the symptoms
of nervous breakdown, and
schizphrenia/ I think my husband may be going through one of these.

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