At least I’m not alone

So I just saw this article about Sarah Silverman called “Is it irresponsible for the depressed to have children?”

This.

This is exactly how I feel.

It is a deeply personal decision, but I personally feel that, with the hell I endured as a child? How dare I bring another child into this world who may have to endure that personal hell, both with the illness and a parent with the illness? Granted, I am currently not nearly as sick as my father, and have no intention of ever becoming that way, but I will still have plenty of issues. I can barely manage to care for myself and a cat. How am I supposed to raise a child? Even with a spouse’s support, which is not always a guarantee, I would still affect any child with my mood swings and occasional outbursts of anger. And what if my kid ends up just as sick as I was, or god forbid, worse?

It was no way to grow up, and it’s no way to raise a child.

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4 Comments

Filed under Now, Then

4 responses to “At least I’m not alone

  1. James Claims

    I did a post on this as well looking at serious mental illness. I’m solidly in the “it’s up to the individual” camp. And genetics only play a role, they’re neither necessary nor sufficient. Some peg the heritability at around 13% for bipolar disorder. Though that number varies wildly when you factor in family history.

    A question though. Assuming that you stabilize and maintain a high level of functionality, would you ever consider adopting? You stop the possibility of genetic inheritance and you’re functioning close to normality so there isn’t much of an appreciable difference between you and another parent.

    Although, that never eliminates the possibility of the child being bipolar or any having any other mental illness, even if there is no family history. My family history is completely sane and I ended up with BP1 and psychosis. But you can also think of it this way. If the child did end up with a mental health problem, wouldn’t you be in a better position to identify and encourage treatment than an average person?

    I’m sure you’ve thought of these, but I guess I’ll post them anyways.

    • I have considered adopting, but only if my partner is 110% on board with being a parent. There will be times that I simply will not be capable of parenting because I am too busy falling to pieces myself, and I will need a partner who is able to do the parenting at that point. I feel it is less selfish anyway, because there are lots of kids out there waiting for homes. And if that child did develop issues, I would be in a good place to catch it.

  2. Well my mother has recurrent depression and I found out I have equally elevated risk of getting major depression or bipolar i disorder … after many years of symptoms which started out as depression and eventually turned into something different entirely, I eventually got diagnosed as schizoaffective, bipolar type. I’m prety sure if I inherited it from anywhere, it came from my Mum’s side of the family where as well as depression, there is heavy drinking and gambling, drug abuse etc, all of which supposedly have some genetic component.

    I’m not sure I would not breed purely because of the risk of passing on my own cuckoo-clock nuttiness. A much bigger issue, to me, is what a lousy world this is and how I wouldn’t want to bring any child into it anyway…

    • There is that whole “this world is awful” part, too. And “there are too many kids who want a loving family but don’t have one” as well. My stance on this is not well-liked, but I personally feel it would be selfish of me to bring a child into this world, full well knowing that I’m bringing them into a pretty messed up place, putting them at risk for plenty of my issues that can be genetic, and knowing that as a result, I’m not adopting a kid who is already here.

      Yeah, all of that tends to travel in families. It’s definitely why I don’t touch stuff that could potentially be addictive, due to a long family history of alcohol abuse. I know I tend to get obsessed and addicted to less harmful things (like the internet; it is my smack) so I can’t imagine what sort of damage drugs or alcohol could do to my life.

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