How do I tell my kids about my illness

My kids are 9 and 12 and one of them has global delay and doesn’t understand when you tell him things my other son is more interested in playing video games or out on his bike I don’t live with them anymore because of my illness they think they have done something wrong or I don’t love them anymore but I do with all my heart I don’t no how to tell them what I’m going through without upsetting or worrying them I want to tell them but the words don’t come out properly any suggestions…


Maybe purchase a book about the illness. I think 9 and 12 are ages too early to comprehend. Leave the book around, when your kids are ready they will ask about it or better yet read it. Then you can talk about it. Just a suggestion.

Simply tell them you are sick.Explain them.They can handle it.


It’s definitely good to tell them but not everything. They don’t need to know all the nitty gritty stuff but they really need to feel your love.

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I have kids that watched me go through symptoms. Just be honest and tell them you have an illness that sometimes makes you do or feel weird things. Tell them it isn’t a deadly sicknes so they don’t worry. And that it isn’t contagious. Tell them that nothing they did or do made you feel sick.


at nine i didn’t really understand things like that but at 12 i was already invested in mental illness and for as long as i’ve had some interest in it i was interested specifically in schizophrenia because it reminded me of myself when i read about it. i think 12 is a good enough age to understand to some degree

I would wait until they are 20 to tell them that way there adults and understand more.

You don’t want them to be using that in your disadvantage when they’re teens.

I have chosen to speak quite openly about the issues…on childrens level, no scary details. I had a conversation with my son and a child psychologist.

He knows it is normal to be scared or sad at times, but my head has an illness so that sometimes im TOO scared or confused and have to be in hospital. I now and then affirm that it is not his fault and i love him, also in times i cant see him. I told him i wanted him to be happy, and cared for well, which i couldnt do sometimes…thats why i dont see him at such times. And that he can always say or ask things.

We also asked how he felt about it, what he would want, etc. He drew the things he couldnt express with words.

No idea if its the right strategy…

Perhaps ask a childrens worker for help? It is important to know it is not their fault and they are loved!


I also make sure i show him love by hugs, kisses, attention, sending postcards, calls, etc when i am around less. But i think it is normal to be insecure about this…I know i am.

I don’t have children, but when I was 12, my mum got sick with chronic fatigue.
She didn’t explain to me what she was going through, and as a result, I felt rejected and neglected.

I wish, even though it took her a while to be diagnosed, that she’d told me what she was going through. I didn’t need all the details, but a conversation about it would have been nice, maybe one where she opened up for questions about it.

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Just tell them your sick and leave it at that. I tell people I’m depressed that’s not as bad as schizophrenia.

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