Growing Up with a Schizophrenic Mother

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SKU: 9780786408207 Category: Tags: ,

About the Book

An estimated two to three million people in the United States today were raised by a schizophrenic parent. Brown and Roberts offer a unique book based on interviews with over forty adult children of mothers diagnosed as schizophrenic. Such topics as the isolation their family felt, their chaotic home environments, their present relationships with their mothers, and the lost potential of mother and child are covered. Their stories are fascinating and provide important information to both the mental health community and the lay public. The offspring have been described as having higher rates of “increased aggressivity” and “sibling conflict,” but often their circumstances strengthened these children and contributed to artistic and creative talents, resiliency, and high achievements.

The authors provide an overview of schizophrenia, behaviors of the affected parent, and the marital relationship of the patient and her non-schizophrenic spouse. As adults, the respondents now share their grievances about the psychological community—what they needed and did not get. Brown and Roberts then present suggestions for treatment of affected children aimed at psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and health care providers.

About the Author(s)

Margaret J. Brown is a psychotherapist practicing in the Atlanta area.

Doris Parker Roberts is a licensed clinical social worker and board certified diplomate in social work. She has a private practice in Atlanta.

Bibliographic Details

Margaret J. Brown and Doris Parker Roberts

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 207
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2000
pISBN: 978-0-7864-0820-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8030-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction  1

 From Doris  2

 From Margaret  5

 Information About the Combined Study  9

 Existing Literature   11

 Purpose and Goals of This Book   12

 Schizophrenia: An Overview   17

1—MOTHER   21

 Appearance   21

 Emotional Affect   22

 Withdrawing or Overreacting   24

 Cognitive Distortions and Delusions   27

 Bizarre and Inappropriate Behavior   28

 Hospitalizations   32

 Medications   35

 Suicidal or Homicidal Behavior   37

 Hallucinations   38

 Relationship or Emotional Involvement   39

 Feelings Toward Mother   42

2—THE FAMILY   48

 Fathers   51

 Marital Conflict   59

 Family Dynamics   60

 Extended Family   62

 Siblings   66

3—THE ENVIRONMENT AND HOME   71

 Chaos   72

 Social Isolation   79

 Abuse   86

 Neglect   87

 The Community 92

4—EMOTIONAL, BEHAVIORAL, AND COGNITIVE EFFECTS   95

 Emotional Effects   96

 Behavioral Effects   112

 Effects on Cognition and Learning   117

5—THE QUALITY OF ADULT LIFE   121

 Self-Esteem, Self-Cofidence, and Lost Potential   122

 Identity and Role Models   124

 Fear of Inheriting Schizophrenia   125

 Fear for Children   126

 Psychotherapy in Adulthood   128

 Career   128

 Difficulties in Relationships   129

6—COPING   139

 What Helped   139

 What Was Needed   151

7—ADULT INTERACTIONS WITH MOTHER 159

 Schizophrenia and Aging   159

 Taking Care of the Elderly Mother   161

 Conflict and Loss   164

 Insufficient Closure   166

8—RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PROFESSIONALS 169

 Issues for Professional Consideration   172

Epilogue   183

Appendix: Resources   185

Notes   189

Bibliography   193

Index   195