Schizophrenia as the reason

Hi everyone, this is something that I’ve been thinking about and I just wanted to post it here because I’ve seen some chats about it recently.

I have a psychotic illness and I’m a mum. So far I’ve been diagnosed with schizophreniform and am awaiting further diagnosis. I have two young children. From time to time I see posts or comments about not wanting to have children for fear of passing schizophrenia along to the children. I understand that this is a deeply personal choice, and I in no way want to question that decision or offend anyone, but I am someone who already has children and has to look at them and wonder if they will inherit this illness from me.

I feel guilty. Perhaps if I’d gotten sick before I had children I might have chosen not to have them.

But then I look at their little faces and I wouldn’t wish them away for anything. They are valued. They are beautiful little people and they have their whole lives in front of them. They may get sick - that’s the nature of inherited illnesses, but they won’t be any less valued or loved. They deserve to have their life regardless of the risk. If they do get sick I will be there for them in any capacity I can as I’m sure my husband will be. I will teach them that the illness doesn’t define them, that their life is worth living and, while respecting their personal choice, not to be afraid of having children because the lives of their children will also be worthwhile.

If they become incapacitated and choose not to have children because they can’t care for them I would understand. I just hope that they don’t choose to avoid having children because of a risk.

I don’t mean to offend anyone. I just needed to say this because when I consider everything I would have been someone who avoided having children out of fear of this illness. I respect everyone’s personal decisions though.


Very well put @LucyK. I don’t think you’d have to feel guilty, since like you said, you didn’t know about it. I have deep respect for people who take the risk knowingly though. It takes a lot of courage and some big shoulders to carry the responsibility for the kind of suffering that can be inflicted on both the child as the self. Not sure if I’m up for that myself, but since I don’t have a partner, it is not a pressing issue.

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I, for one, choose not to have kids because I don’t want to pass along the chances of having what I have, plus I don’t know that I could function as a good dad with all that I deal with. That said, I totally respect everyone who has kids, because being a parent is a huge responsibility. I am glad your kids have such understanding and supportive parents. Hopefully you will never have to be supportive or understanding in that way, but if you do I am sure you and your husband will do fine. Best wishes to you and your family!