Do many other people have kids? When did you tell them about your illness?

I have two young children. I wasn’t diagnosed until 40. Something in childbirth/ sleep deprivation of motherhood set things off for me. My kids are still young at the moment and I don’t think they would understand yet. But I wonder if anyone else if in the same situation or has had that conversation with their kids? When they did it? Or decided not to?


I have a 11 year old son and we started telling him about my illness when he was about 6. That because his life changed. His father and I divorced when he was 5.
Two months ago I took him with me to a session with my therapist Who told him about psychosis in a way he could understand. It was very helpfull for him.


Thanks this is really helpful. That’s a great idea getting your therapist to explain it properly.
My eldest is 7 so probably still a bit young for her to understand psychosis. But 11 seems like it would be a good point and they would have the ability to understand it properly.

I mean she knows I have been ill but we have never given it a name or explained it properly. Which might be worse for her in some ways!

We cho(o)sed to be honest about it, because it has affected my sons life in some ways. At first we were divorced and he had to stay with his dad instead of living with me. And lately there has been some episodes where I have been acting “not normal”. I was believing that we could communicate through our Dreams and I’ve had some mood swings. I don’t know if that makes sense, but we figured that it would be worse if we didn’t tell him anything.

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I totally understand that. My last episode was so wrapped around my kids that there were things I’m sure the eldest wonders about. Like I often thought they heard what I heard or were telling me things which had double meanings.

I guess that’s what I often wonder is that it might be scarier to just think mummy is being a bit weird or distracted.

It’s a hard line to tread because I want to be honest with them too but I still want to be their safe place. It’s nice to talk to someone else who is in the same situation btw!

I understand that. I would say that I had a lot of doubt because I also don’t like labels in generally and of course I don’t want my son to think of me as ill. Then distracted or weird as you mention would fit me better. But the school adviced that we talked to him about it , because they novice that he was being sad and even angry, because a lot was happening which he didn’t understand.

That must have been difficult to hear and deal with on top of everything else.

My daughter suffers from anxiety and is reluctant to leave me to go to school and I often think this is how she deals with things or that it’s related to all the ups and downs of my illness.

I guess I worry her anxiety will be worse if she knows but maybe the reverse would be true.

I don’t have kids. But my mom has schizoaffective, like me, and she was ill when I was little / very young.

My mom showed signs of her illness, but as a kid I only noticed the depression. My dad tried explaining the word “depression” to us kids. He said, “Mom is very sad. She is depressed. You can help by cleaning up after yourselves.” I think I was 10 years old, when my dad first tried to tell us about my mom’s illness.

I honestly didn’t understand psychosis, though, until I did research on it, which lead to my own diagnosis at age 23. That research is what helped me understand my mom & myself. But I was an adult by that time.


When mine turned 18 and reached the age of majority. I am stable enough we didn’t need to discuss it when she was younger. She was okay with it.


I havent seen my little dumpling since she was 5. She wouldnt understand why Daddy went crazy, cos it took the “powers that be” many years to diagnose me with Schizophrenia.

Shes Autistic. - All she knows is Daddy Left her :frowning:

I seriously reckon if those wankers would have stepped in sooner - i would still be living with my wife and daughter.


That’s the thing isn’t it, these are all massively hard things to understand even for an adult.

Thinking about it I had no cause to try and understand psychosis really until it happened to me.

No ones else in my family is effected by it so I’ve never experienced it from the other side. Must be really hard as a child being effected by it.

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I am also pretty stable, touch wood and the last episode was the first of me being diagnosed. So now I have a Med plan and an intervention team on hand, which I didn’t have before.

So I was hoping it would not be an issue again and I could tell her when she was older… but I guess everyone probably hopes that.

Sorry to hear that. It can take so long to get the help you actually need can’t it?

It did for me. But I’m lucky we got there in time. I can see how quickly you could loose all, your family I mean.

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i don’t have kids but i think they told the kids of my sisters that i’m sick and that’s why i’m always here at home.


Seriously - a life time with a family, can be lost in a matter of hours mate.

Im living proof. Be grateful for what you got - and protect it.

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After O got home from the hospital I just explained I have a mental illness that makes me think bad things at times. And that none of it is their fault, it’s just something that happens sometimes.


My kids were exposed to my manic and depressive episodes and they were called such. I don’t think I ever said to them I’m bipolar. I don’t remember ever sitting down and telling them about psychosis, I think they were involved with the adult conversations that were happening about the topic and learned from that.

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I have a 3 year old daughter n dont plan on telling her unless I become unwell again she wouldn’t understand being this young anyways x

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So sorry to hear that. When I divorced and left my family I didn’t know I was sick either. I was in a manic episode. But after 6 weeks I was reunited with my son and we have a good relationship to Day. Is it possible that you can be a part of your daughters life maybe later? Maybe she will understand if she is older now?