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Parenting and Mental Illness

By Jenise Harmon, MSW, LISW-S

Being a parent is tough. Add to that depression, anxiety, personality disorders, mood swings, or psychosis, and you can multiply the difficulty of parenting by 100.

Sleeplessness, a change in hormones and the increasing demands on a person’s mind and body that come with parenthood often make an existing mental illness worse. It’s rough!

There are some things that new parents who struggle with mental illness can do to help themselves adjust to parenthood.

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Parenting and Mental Illness

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  1. What about parents that unknowingly have ADHD that have children? This is was the case with my wife whom I still have not been able to reason with

    • Great question. Looking at a difficult situation from a more positive end can be helpful. For instance, what positive things does your wife’s ADHD tendencies bring to the relationship? Perhaps she is good at thinking outside the box, or juggling many different tasks at once. Stay away from blame – ADHD can bring some challenges, but it also has some positive aspects to it. Then, as problems come up, face them together, as a team. Take care – Jenise

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