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Family history of breakdowns?

G

GrizzlyBear

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When I think of me and my 3 siblings there are two of us worst hit by MH problems....both of us were living at home when my mother had a breakdown.

I wonder if things would have been different if her breakdown had not occurred at that point - would we both be doing much better that we are?

Have others experienced the breakdown of one or both parent(s) at a vulnerable age and do you think it helped trigger some of your MH difficulties or do you feel you would have had your difficulties regardless?
 
ms_P

ms_P

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Hi GB,
My understanding of "breakdown" is severe depression. Is that what you mean?

My father was a sufferer of major depression and my mother was borderline/bi-polar. I think I would have ended up the same regardless. There were so many "breakdowns" between them.
Sorry if I'm not much help. :(
 
G

GrizzlyBear

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Hope this helps to clarify what I meant ms_P....

Ah...hmm....I suppose what I mean is this: My mom was fine throughout my childhood but came off the rails (whatever that means) when my parents separated when I was 13. At first she was just behaving foolishly and irresponsibly....but I guess when I say 'breakdown' I mean a fairly sudden "I have come to the end of my tether" thing. My mom used to sit and cry all day and made two real attempts to end her life. Sudden severe depression? I don't know. Anyway.....I've had low mood and high anxiety for most of my life...but last year I had what I call a breakdown in that I was quite rapidly unable to cope anymore and things spiralled out of control.

So no, I guess I'm not referring to ongoing MH problems (that could surely fill a thread by itself)....rather parents being 'suddenly' incapacitated at key moments of their child's development. This comes to mind because some years ago I was interviewed by a government agency (involved with single parents, if I remember correctly) and I was asked if my mom was on a low income when I was 14....because, apparently, how things are when we are 14 has a huge impact on how things may turn out later (and yes, my income was low at the time of the interview).

Hope that has cleared up what I meant....but somehow I doubt it! :eek:

:rolleyes:

But one thing that does seem clear...whatever a breakdown is it definitely is severe.
 
ms_P

ms_P

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Okay, I think I understand.
Well, my mother was too mean to think about taking her own life...she tried taking others though. :unsure:
Hmmm, when I was 14, my big brother was long gone, my father was long gone, and my mother married number 3 of 4 husbands and we moved to Cape Cod from Boston. His friends called my mother a 'golddigger' and he locked us in the cellar for 2 days before my mother told me she was getting an annulment of their marriage to this much older man.
I tried so hard to fit in the high school there. All for nothing.
I'm hijacking this thread. Sorry. :(:redface:

I think it's all subjective, GB. Your genes and life experiences make you who you are and no two people are the same or react the same.
 
G

GrizzlyBear

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Okay, I think I understand.
Well, my mother was too mean to think about taking her own life...she tried taking others though. :unsure:
Hmmm, when I was 14, my big brother was long gone, my father was long gone, and my mother married number 3 of 4 husbands and we moved to Cape Cod from Boston. His friends called my mother a 'golddigger' and he locked us in the cellar for 2 days before my mother told me she was getting an annulment of their marriage to this much older man.
I tried so hard to fit in the high school there. All for nothing.
I'm hijacking this thread. Sorry. :(:redface:
:eek: :hug:

I think it's all subjective, GB. Your genes and life experiences make you who you are and no two people are the same or react the same.
Well, yeah.....there are plenty of people who have had mush worse experiences than me who have no major MH issues. I know it all comes down to reactions...it's just I believe our reactions are largely coloured by our life experiences...which, unlike genes (for the most part!) we have at least some control of. Or, as children....our parents, families and society have some control of. In a parallel Universe I like to think I am working to support families and increasing opportunities for nurturing in society. Perhaps helping to create a society where everyone feels they deserve and can get support.

I think it's sad that I felt so unsupported at 14 that I took an overdose and no-one ever knew - because I knew there was no-one at all to help.

Jeez...I think I'm hijacking my own thread. :LOL:
 
ms_P

ms_P

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:hug:

If it makes you feel any better (what a shit way of putting it! sorry), I was fed beer and had my first falling down drunk at age 10, at my mother's 40th b-day party. No one cared.
I managed to tear down the curtains in my bedroom, and I got a licking for that!

I hate that children can be at the mercy of thier parents...and lord knows there are some screwed-up ones!
Are you familiar with the Stockholm Syndrome?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome
I believe children can have it when their parents are bad. I have/had it. So loyal to the one who ruined your life. It's just lately, 8 and a half years after her death, that I realize and accept how wrong and cruel my mother was to me.
Better late than never doesn't always ring true. The damage is done.

I think your experiences may have made you much more sensitive to the things that most people refuse to talk about. It creates self doubt.

I wish we could list the good things we've managed to do in our lives! Despite it all. (y)
 
G

GrizzlyBear

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:hug:

If it makes you feel any better (what a shit way of putting it! sorry), I was fed beer and had my first falling down drunk at age 10, at my mother's 40th b-day party. No one cared.
I managed to tear down the curtains in my bedroom, and I got a licking for that!

I hate that children can be at the mercy of thier parents...and lord knows there are some screwed-up ones!
Are you familiar with the Stockholm Syndrome?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome
I believe children can have it when their parents are bad. I have/had it. So loyal to the one who ruined your life. It's just lately, 8 and a half years after her death, that I realize and accept how wrong and cruel my mother was to me.
Better late than never doesn't always ring true. The damage is done.

I think your experiences may have made you much more sensitive to the things that most people refuse to talk about. It creates self doubt.

I wish we could list the good things we've managed to do in our lives! Despite it all. (y)
Yes, I am familiar with Stockholm Syndrome. I guess I think it is 'normal' and 'natural' to love one's parents....no matter how badly they treated us. But also natural to feel anger and everything else.

I like your way of thinking ms_P.....I think a new thread may be on the way:

'Great things that I have done despite everything' (or something like that)

(y)
 
ms_P

ms_P

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I loved my parents yet was scared to death of my mother. You need your parents or at least your mother for everything in life. When that person threatens that life, it does strange things to ones head. I rest my case...

Hey! I started a thread in the café. What we are proud of past & present. :)
What do you think???

xxx
 
G

GrizzlyBear

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I loved my parents yet was scared to death of my mother. You need your parents or at least your mother for everything in life. When that person threatens that life, it does strange things to ones head. I rest my case...

Hey! I started a thread in the café. What we are proud of past & present. :)
What do you think???

xxx
I agree that that would do very strange things to ones head ms_P....totally. Mother's are meant to be the person most likely to risk life and limb for their child. If all else fails mom will protect you. That sounds horrible ms_P. :hug:

Thread looks grrreat. :clap:

I bet there's a thin line between stating the things we are proud of and sounding big-headed! Ha ha! I'm going to try and sound humble...:p
 
ms_P

ms_P

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Oh, humble be darned! Let's go for it! Nothing's too big nor too small. (y)
 
dib4uk

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Yeah mental health problems can run in families, my mother has permenant low self esteem issues, poor education and low confidence which is the precursor for mood disorders. Her father had a nervous brakedown when I was really young because he was worried about money and financies and stuff like that and after his breakdown he was never the same again. My mothers mom- also had low self esteem issues and depression.

Eeek, put it all together no wonder I'm the way I am.:D
 
daffy

daffy

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a few years ago i asked my pdoc if it was inherited/genetic, as i have 2 uncles commited suicide, a cousin that had alcohol problems then killed himself before he was 30, another uncle that had bipolar/schitsophrenia and was sectioned several times.

He said there was no definate link but there could be a predisposition depending on the upbringing. I was brought up with a very violent mother who apart from beatings, cut my hair off and pulled it out. She also tried to suffocate my sister and i. She has only just started recieving treatment the last 2 years and she s 83 now
 
Bluemoon

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On the night of my initial breakdown, thoughts of my mum having her breakdown and what she went through were running circles through my mind. My dad had one too, but years before he and my mum even had their first date. I had a good friend at college who had mental health issues and I was thinking of each one as my mind unravelled around me.

Is it possible to make oneself ill by thinking of being ill too much ?

I think it can do during times of intense stress and bad life experiences. Right through high school, college and university I had fears of breaking down myself and that's exactly what happened. And a second time. . . and a third. Even right now, I avoid stressful situations as much as I can so I don't have a fourth. Going six years strong so far even though I have a lot of stress in my personal life right now that can't be avoided. I guess I am adapting, looks like my will power and coping mechanisms are back on-line (y).
 
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trombone_babe

trombone_babe

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Not so much history of breakdown but I have suffered from depression for many years and my gorgeous eldest son also now suffers in a very similar way. At least we are good support for one another :)
 
J

jemoess

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i think that when a parent has a breakdown while their child is too young to deal with it, it does have an effect.

in my family, my mother's mother is mentally ill. i'm not quite sure how bad it is, or what she has, but it's serious. mental illness runs in families, although thankfully it's not so bad in my family. pretty much all of us have PTSD, but that was caused by trauma, wheras only two people in the family have mental illnesses that have a biological/genetic component to them.

when i was growing up, my Mother was dealing with a great deal of trauma. it was really hard to wake up in the middle of the night hearing her wail with the emotional pain. after i told my dad that i had heard it, Mother must have started keeping herself under control so that i would not longer hear her cry. that both hurt and relieved me.

when i was about 10 years old, my Mothers physical health deteriorated dramatically. as a result, she was a lot more stressed and snappy - not only from the lack of health, but also because of the illness she was suffering from (which was undiagnosed at the time). within the year, i had made two attempts on my life. my mental health has deteriorated slowly ever since.
 
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