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Should Parents with mental health issues be allowed to have children? Watch

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    As a teenager with a single parent with severe mental health issues (Bipolar..ect), I can safely say that having a parent with such issues has had detrimental effects of me - and it sounds horrible but I'd rather I'd not had to grow up with such an upbringing. Because of the severe mixed messages I received as a child I was never able to form a proper attachment with my parent, this has affected my ability to trust and form attachments as I've grown older. I grew up being hit, neglected and being made to feel worthless by a parent with such low self esteem and anger issues that the only outlet they had was a poor, defenseless child.
    I blame my eating disorder and inability to trust and attach on my parent and as nasty as it sounds, I'm not the only one who places the blame on them. I've never experienced normality or stability in my life and it makes me so angry thinking about it.

    So, the question is...Should parents with mental health issues - single parents especially - be able to have children? With no monitoring and no extra help from other people when bringing up the child? I can't help but feel there must be an ongoing struggle with children such as myself feeling completely isolated and worthless because of a parent placing abuse on them - whether its physical/emotional/ect...
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    How can it be prevented without causing unfairness and inequality?

    Who decides who is to be a fit parent?

    How do you prevent unsuitable men from getting someone pregnant?

    How do you prevent unsuitable women from getting pregnant?

    What do you do about an unsuitable woman who gets pregnant?

    What if the person's mental health issues are caused by a desperate desire to be a parent?

    What if the person's mental health issues seem to be caused by a desperate desire to be a parent, but becoming a parent makes no difference?

    What if the mental health issues are caused by becoming pregnant / becoming a parent? (This is an area where I feel society is currently weak - it is assumed all parents must be happy about it.)

    Would an alternative solution be possible? For example, close monitoring of new families for 2 or 3 years?

    Who would want to be a social worker?




    Life's crap sometimes. Despite lots of effort, it is still unfair. However, none of those things will change the past for you. Everyone gets dealt a different hand and you can only play the cards you have. You have been given experiences and knowledge many other people do not get - can you use that to your advantage? Do you have a natural empathy for others that you could use to make your own life more fulfilling? Is your desire for answers strong enough to sustain you through years of study and research into ways to change society to prevent what you experienced? You could turn this around to your benefit. Play the cards you have.
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    No they shouldn't.

    If you can't look after yourself you shouldn't ruin a child's life too.

    Same goes for people in domestic abuse situations etc

    That's the theory out of the way, enforcing it is impossible.
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    Parents can have kids and only get diagnosed afterwards - and I'd imagine there'd be a massive spike in people -consciously- doing this, too.

    Then you end up with a nation of people with mental illnesses who are effectively penalised for seeking appropriate help. That ain't kosher.
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    many people who suffer mental health issues do so temporarily - how many people would you ban?

    are you happy not to have children yourself, as you clearly have issues?

    would you prefer not to have been born?

    You can spend the rest of your life blaming someone else for your problems or you can begin to say to yourself no-one else can determine my self-esteem unless I let them and I can change my life if I want to.. You'll need help to deal with this but you should be able to get some counselling, if you haven't had some already. .There are a lot of people who had a bad start in life but go on to make a good life for themselves. You may find a support group helpful, this is one such group http://napac.org.uk/
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    (Original post by parentlurker)
    many people who suffer mental health issues do so temporarily - how many people would you ban?

    are you happy not to have children yourself, as you clearly have issues?

    would you prefer not to have been born?

    You can spend the rest of your life blaming someone else for your problems or you can begin to say to yourself no-one else can determine my self-esteem unless I let them and I can change my life if I want to.. You'll need help to deal with this but you should be able to get some counselling, if you haven't had some already. .There are a lot of people who had a bad start in life but go on to make a good life for themselves. You may find a support group helpful, this is one such group http://napac.org.uk/
    How dare you. I have no issues, I have an eating disorder, this would in no way affect my ability to care for my future children. Now issues such as bipolar and depression however, affect the ability MASSIVELY.

    It would be reinforced fairly easily, and expecting mother who has visited their doctor has her health records checked - any history of mental illness is thoroughly investigated - and it is constantly as the child grows up. If the doctor believes the issue is bad enough - the child is taken away - simple.
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    (Original post by parentlurker)
    many people who suffer mental health issues do so temporarily - how many people would you ban?

    are you happy not to have children yourself, as you clearly have issues?

    would you prefer not to have been born?

    You can spend the rest of your life blaming someone else for your problems or you can begin to say to yourself no-one else can determine my self-esteem unless I let them and I can change my life if I want to.. You'll need help to deal with this but you should be able to get some counselling, if you haven't had some already. .There are a lot of people who had a bad start in life but go on to make a good life for themselves. You may find a support group helpful, this is one such group http://napac.org.uk/
    I most certainly would have preferred not to have been born. Its lucky I'm very academic and will be escaping to University soon - otherwise I'd of ended my abusive and sad life long ago.
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    (Original post by Kaiju)
    Parents can have kids and only get diagnosed afterwards - and I'd imagine there'd be a massive spike in people -consciously- doing this, too.

    Then you end up with a nation of people with mental illnesses who are effectively penalised for seeking appropriate help. That ain't kosher.
    When people are diagnosed after kids, the patient is assessed to see if they have any kids. If they do and they're a single parent, intensive care can be planned to help support the parent.
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    I'd just like so say I don't believe in all children being taken from parents with mental health issues. If the parent is somewhat capable, they should receive intensive support from the community to help them be a good parent - and children should be monitored and helped. I received no support as a child and I even had teachers mock me. My parent needed intensive support desperately - they couldn't cope with a job, university and a child on their own. Nobody helped them, not even doctors - they just brushed them off and told the, to get on with it.

    I had to cope with going to school after being hit and told that my parent "was going to kill themself" when they dropped me off because they couldn't cope. I had to deal with their erratic mood swings, and because the goverment/nhs couldn't be arsed to help - and they still cant! - I had to practically become a carer at age 3. My parent self harmed, attempted suicide and had "up" episodes where they'd spend all of our food/rent money on clothes, toys, holidays.

    This isn't a post slandering individuals with mental health issues - its a post stating how let down individuals with specific issues, and children, are let down in the community. If my parent had received support when I was little, my life could've turned out very differently and I think that its very sad that thousands of people are let down in this society.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I most certainly would have preferred not to have been born. Its lucky I'm very academic and will be escaping to University soon - otherwise I'd of ended my abusive and sad life long ago.
    You have an eating disorder, which you could well pass on to any chidren you may have as children copy their parents behaviour and by your own words you're depressed and suicidal. You don't want to recognise that these are mental health issues and respnd aggresively to the suggestion. Using your own argument anyone you saw when pregnant should flag you as a risk and you should possibly have your children removed from you. Where do you draw the line?

    You need to recognise your problems are mental health issues and seek help with them.
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    since people with mental health issues experience different emotions and react in different ways, it is never a one way street to say that they are all incapable of good parenting. I can not say that because a single mother has major depressive episodes, that she will be a mean and neglectful parent, rather she could be more protective and loving when she has low moods. If i think about schizophrenia and bi polar, then i still think they should be allowed to look after their children with care from social services, and doctors. Medication is progressing and improving people lives also. I suppose some people without mental health problems can be just as mean and neglectful to their children. I don't think there is a perfect answer really.
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    My mother was recently diagnosed with severe OCD, anxiety disorder and potentially aspergers.
    I'd argue I had a much better upbringing than many people I know with "neurotypical" parents.
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    (Original post by parentlurker)
    You have an eating disorder, which you could well pass on to any chidren you may have as children copy their parents behaviour and by your own words you're depressed and suicidal. You don't want to recognise that these are mental health issues and respnd aggresively to the suggestion. Using your own argument anyone you saw when pregnant should flag you as a risk and you should possibly have your children removed from you. Where do you draw the line?

    You need to recognise your problems are mental health issues and seek help with them.
    Haha an eating disorder isn't a mental health issue...and why would my child copy me?? I'm recovered now, and not wanting to eat every now and then won't affect my child's well being or emotional growth.

    I'm not depressed and suicidal...I'm very fortunate to have a way out. If i didn't then I would be. I'm just a bit resentful I guess.
    Yes, anyone who is pregnant and has any history of mental health issues should be flagged as a risk and given intensive support and information on how to control their issues around their child. The children should only be removed if there is a risk on their life or their development - E.G severe neglect, emotional/physical/ect abuse.
    The aim isn't to just prevent individuals from having children all together, its about giving children the best chance of a future.
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    (Original post by SuperWolfPaws)
    since people with mental health issues experience different emotions and react in different ways, it is never a one way street to say that they are all incapable of good parenting. I can not say that because a single mother has major depressive episodes, that she will be a mean and neglectful parent, rather she could be more protective and loving when she has low moods. If i think about schizophrenia and bi polar, then i still think they should be allowed to look after their children with care from social services, and doctors. Medication is progressing and improving people lives also. I suppose some people without mental health problems can be just as mean and neglectful to their children. I don't think there is a perfect answer really.
    This is exactly what I'm trying to say. But these people AREN'T getting support from doctors and social services. They're being left and disregarded and the issue is getting worse and worse as society develops and grows. The amount of times I've seen woman hit and verbally abuse their children in public is ridiculous - I dread what happens behind closed doors.
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    (Original post by Kaiju)
    My mother was recently diagnosed with severe OCD, anxiety disorder and potentially aspergers.
    I'd argue I had a much better upbringing than many people I know with "neurotypical" parents.
    Those issues would not affect upbringing, in comparison with illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia and bi-polar.

    OCD, Anxiety and Aspergers are mental illnesses that wouldn't perhaps pose any type of risk. If anything they could have a positive influence, with the parent being protective and caring.

    Is your mother a single parent?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    This is exactly what I'm trying to say. But these people AREN'T getting support from doctors and social services. They're being left and disregarded and the issue is getting worse and worse as society develops and grows. The amount of times I've seen woman hit and verbally abuse their children in public is ridiculous - I dread what happens behind closed doors.
    yes. i watched an inside documentary on social services. and all they can do is fill in paper work constantly with hardly any visits. The government are making life really stressful for single parents, now they have to start finding a job when the child turns 5, also sanctions could be applied to the parent reducing money for heating/food. People with undiagnosed / non severe mental health issue are first to get punished. If this country was a little kinder and less judgmental we would not have so many breakdowns of families and abused kids.
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    I imagine people would refuse to get diagnosed and seek help if they would be prevented from having children for it.
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    (Original post by SuperWolfPaws)
    yes. i watched an inside documentary on social services. and all they can do is fill in paper work constantly with hardly any visits. The government are making life really stressful for single parents, now they have to start finding a job when the child turns 5, also sanctions could be applied to the parent reducing money for heating/food. People with undiagnosed / non severe mental health issue are first to get punished. If this country was a little kinder and less judgmental we would not have so many breakdowns of families and abused kids.
    I completely agree with you. I was listed as "Vulnerable" by a social worker who came to visit me at school in year 7... but I never heard from them or got any support after...what sort of system do we have when young children are at threat and are not getting support.
    My parent really struggled as they had severe mental health issues when I was born, then had to raise me whilst getting a degree and balancing a job - they got NO help- and I can imagine it was overwhelming.

    I agree, there are so many useless policies out there put in place by support services. If a single parent has mental health issues they should receive counselling and be given reductions in food/heating/rent - all things that can contribute to stress/anxiety which makes certain conditions worse.
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    (Original post by Maid Marian)
    I imagine people would refuse to get diagnosed and seek help if they would be prevented from having children for it.
    Well then there should be some things in place that convince diagnosis...e.g. deduction in certain bills and some support systems. Therefore if diagnosed, they would receive this help - which I'm sure a lot of people with mental health illnesses want
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I completely agree with you. I was listed as "Vulnerable" by a social worker who came to visit me at school in year 7... but I never heard from them or got any support after...what sort of system do we have when young children are at threat and are not getting support.
    My parent really struggled as they had severe mental health issues when I was born, then had to raise me whilst getting a degree and balancing a job - they got NO help- and I can imagine it was overwhelming.

    I agree, there are so many useless policies out there put in place by support services. If a single parent has mental health issues they should receive counselling and be given reductions in food/heating/rent - all things that can contribute to stress/anxiety which makes certain conditions worse.
    Sorry to hear you were left to deal with that on your own. Yes even the ones they have marked as vulnerable get parked after a period of time. Here is the film i watched -
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDqv9d-oHUY
 
 
 
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