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Schizophrenic Motherhood

Schizophrenia, a highly debilitating mental disorder, impacts individuals worldwide, rendering them incapable of functioning in a typical manner. Schizophrenia is a chronic psychiatric disorder marked by aberrant cognitive processes, disordered speech patterns, and the presence of delusions and hallucinations. Researchers have discovered that biochemical, genetic, and physiological variables influence schizophrenia. Nevertheless, the precise etiology of schizophrenia remains elusive. Mothers who have schizophrenia face major obstacles to their mental health as well as profound effects on child development, family relations, and maternal caregiving. These implications underscore the need for focused therapies and support networks.

Mothers who have schizophrenia may encounter difficulties in establishing a personal bond with their kids, a factor often overlooked by many individuals. A mother who has schizophrenia may exhibit impaired capacity to attend to the needs of her children adequately, potentially compromising their well-being and developmental progress (Khoshgoftar et al., 2022). Typically, women assume the primary responsibility for caring for their children in this scenario. The objective of this study is to investigate the impact of schizophrenia on the mother-child bonding process.

One obvious effect of schizophrenia is a breakdown in the emotional bond between a mother and her child, especially in cases when the mother is unable to care for her child continuously. Because of their abnormal thoughts, perceptions, and behaviors, people with schizophrenia may find it difficult to regularly care for their children (Vigod et al., 2016). Mothers suffering from delusions may be unable to meet their children’s basic psychological and physiological needs, exhibit excessive worry, and lack trust in others. A woman’s capacity to focus on her child when dreaming may be impaired due to distractions caused by a variety of things.

A lady showing signs of mental instability may have difficulty meeting her parenting obligations during the first attempt. For mothers whose children display schizophrenia symptoms like delusions and nightmares, it can be difficult to tell what is genuine and what just a product of their child’s imagination is (Vigod et al., 2016). As a result of this illness, the mother’s conduct may become erratic and disoriented, impeding her ability to provide a secure and affectionate environment for her kid (Fox, 2004). Due to the cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia, individuals may experience difficulties in organizing and strategizing their daily routines, thus hindering a mother’s ability to provide adequate care for her children. A child’s emotional and developmental health can suffer when they do not have security and continuity.

Children are more likely to act violently and irrationally when they have schizophrenia. The teen may become scared and nervous because they do not know what to do if their mother’s symptoms get worse. A mother-child bond that is emotionally detached can form when a child who is having problems pulls away from their mother (Khoshgoftar et al., 2022). It may also be hard for a mother with schizophrenia to pay close attention to and bond emotionally with her child. Mothers who have schizophrenia may find it hard to connect with their kids and meet their emotional needs because the disorder makes people less emotional and less expressive. Children whose mothers have schizophrenia might not get the emotional support and care they need, which could hurt their emotional growth in the long run.

Taking care of a family member with schizophrenia can make it hard for a mother and child to get along. Families with schizophrenia often have a hard time paying for many of the medications and treatments that are available. As a result, women often struggle or fail to provide a stable and caring setting for their children (Vigod et al., 2016). When a mom feels guilty, sorry, or not good enough, she might mentally pull away from her child. Social exclusion and decline are extra problems that mothers with schizophrenia have to deal with. Families with mothers who have schizophrenia may not interact with others or go to the doctor because of how society views mental illness negatively. This could make the child feel alone and shut out, which could slow their progress in learning how to get along with others. It is important to remember that schizophrenia can make it hard for a mother to bond with her child, even if the mother has been diagnosed with schizophrenia before (Vigod et al., 2016). Because of both genetic and environmental factors, children whose mothers have schizophrenia are more likely to have the disease. When the young person thinks about this threat, feeling anxious and worried could be bad for their mental health. Children and grandchildren of people with schizophrenia are more likely to experience anxiety and sadness as adults.

In order to start treating schizophrenia, it is very important to teach the mother everything she needs to know about the illness and its signs. People who have schizophrenia, a complicated mental illness, may show a wide range of signs. Some moms may only have mild signs for a short time, while others may have more psychotic episodes (Fox, 2004). Therefore, moms may find it hard to give their kids the stable and dependable care that is needed for their development and success. One important effect of schizophrenia on parent-child relationships is that the mother cannot take care of her child’s mental and physical needs (Khoshgoftar et al., 2022). Not being able to control your emotions is a sign of schizophrenia. This makes it harder for a mother to help her kids with their feelings. If the baby does not get social support, it could hurt his or her mental health and growth.

Because she has schizophrenia, the mother has trouble communicating and getting along with other people, which makes it hard for her to form a bond with her child. There is a process called attachment in which an infant makes a strong emotional bond with their primary caregiver. A child’s mental and social growth is affected in a big way (Fox, 2004). A child who has strong bonds with their key caregivers has better social skills, more self-esteem, and are better at controlling their emotions. Infants whose moms have schizophrenia may develop insecure attachment styles because their mothers cannot keep up consistent and responsive relationships. The effects might not be clear until the child hits a certain stage of development in terms of controlling their emotions and making healthy connections with others.

Schizophrenia can make it hard for a mother to care for her child every day, which is bad for the child’s mental health and her ability to feel safe with her. Because of the problems with thinking, planning, and organizing that come with the conditions, moms may find it hard to meet their kids’ basic needs, like food, cleanliness, and play, as well as stick to a routine. For a child’s healthy growth, ignoring consistency and predictability can be bad (Vigod et al., 2016). It is common for mothers with this illness to go to treatment and support groups to deal with their symptoms and make their homes safer for their children. Treatment includes taking medicine, going to therapy, doing chores, and taking care of children. People should not just guess; they should do what they need to do to make sure these moms and kids feel welcome.

Another thing that can have a big effect on the relationship between a mother and child when the mother has schizophrenia is how people think about mental illnesses. These families may also have to deal with the long-lasting biases and stereotypes that people with mental diseases can bring into their homes. Loneliness, discrimination, and shame can have a very negative effect on a parent’s mental health and her relationship with her children (Neill, 1990). This makes the relationship between a mother and child worse and makes caring for a kid more difficult because fewer young people will actively seek help and support. Schizophrenia can make it hard for a mother and child to connect because of many practical and financial issues. Managing a serious mental condition while taking care of a child is already very hard, and the financial burden that comes with schizophrenia makes it even harder. Moms with this disease may be in a tough financial spot if they cannot find and keep a job. Mothers’ relationships with their children can suffer when they are under a lot of worry and tension at home.

Schizophrenia can make it hard for mothers and children to connect, which can cause delays in growth and mental health problems in children. Children and teens of women with the disease are more likely than other people to have anxiety, depression, and even schizophrenia (Neill, 1990). The problems a child face in life can be affected by how they were raised, their genes, and how stable (or not stable) their early years were. When kids are having problems at home, in school, and with their friends, it can hurt their mental health and self-esteem. Even though mom has schizophrenia, their relationship will not fall apart in a big way.

The bond between a mother and child can be affected by many things, such as the mother’s finances, the child’s sickness, and the child’s personality. There is some proof that mothers who have schizophrenia can care for their children well and have good relationships with them if they can get the help they need (Fox, 2004). When a mother’s schizophrenia makes it very hard for her to care for her baby, she needs help and support from extended family, social services, and mental health professionals. Mothers will not have to worry as much because the child is safe. It is very important that having a parent with schizophrenia becomes common. Kids may become stronger and more sensitive after going through hard times, no matter how bad they are (Neill, 1990). The most important thing for kids is to know how to deal with things, have someone they can talk to, and understand what is going on with their mom. People need to understand that having schizophrenia and being a mother are not always at odds with each other. While mothers with schizophrenia may encounter difficulties in forming deep connections with their children, it does not imply that they will be incapable of doing so. Despite having schizophrenia, women can still fulfill the role of nurturing parents and provide a secure living environment for their children by receiving the necessary assistance.

Schizophrenia can significantly impact the interpersonal connections between moms and their children. Because the disorder makes it hard to form attachments, get mental support, and get the care they need, the baby could be at risk of being abused or neglected. Schizophrenia can cause a lot of social problems, which can make moms’ mental health and relationships with their kids even worse. Moms who have schizophrenia can care for their kids and build meaningful ties with them once they can get treatment and help. It is very important to make more people aware of mental health disorders and get rid of the social stigma that surrounds them so that moms and their children can get the help they need.


Fox, V. (2004). First Person Account: Schizophrenia and Motherhood. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 30(4), 763–765. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.schbul.a007129

Khoshgoftar, M., Khodabakhshi-Koolaee, A., & Sheikhi, M. R. (2022). Analysis of the early mother-child relationship in schizophrenic patients. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 68(3), 548–554. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020764021991186

Neill, J. (1990). Whatever became of the schizophrenogenic mother? American Journal of Psychotherapy (Association for the Advancement of Psychotherapy), 44(4), 499. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.psychotherapy.1990.44.4.499

Vigod, S. N., Rochon, T. G., Fung, K., Gruneir, A., Dennis, C. ‐L., Grigoriadis, S., Kurdyak, P. A., Ray, J. G., Rochon, P., & Seeman, M. V. (2016). Factors associated with postpartum psychiatric admission in a population-based cohort of women with schizophrenia. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 134(4), 305–313. https://doi.org/10.1111/acps.12622

Writer: John Gromada
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