NURTURE INFORMATION HUB
PARENT MENTAL HEALTH
Mental health illness can affect anyone regardless of gender, age, health and income. Mental illness includes conditions like anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia and antenatal and postnatal depression,
Parenting is both a rewarding and overwhelming job for anyone but it adds extra challenges for people with a mental health condition. When a parent has a mental health problem it does not automatically mean that a child will be affected negatively in any way or experience abuse. It will all depend on how the mental illness affects the parent’s behaviour and the extent to which the parents’ symptoms interfere with positive parenting such as their ability to show interest in their adult child will determine the risk.
Mental illness in parents can affect their children, even as adults in various ways. Adult children who may take on caring responsibilities can conflict with work, study and social activities.
Some parents experience mental illness for only a short time e.g. experiencing postnatal depression in the weeks of months after having a baby. For other parents it can be a lifelong experience and they need lifelong treatment to manage their illness.