Why do some families of the mentally ill turn their backs on them?

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  1. Theresa Collins profile image59
    Theresa Collinsposted 13 years ago

    Why do some families of the mentally ill turn their backs on them?

    I have seen many people who are truly, seriously, mentally ill with diagnosis such as Schizophrenia have no one, absolutely no one. Their families have disownded them. Although it is extremely difficult to deal with someone with that type of illness, but I just can't see how parents and siblings can totally walk away from them forever and leave them shut up in a mental institution. Does anyone have any insight on this issue?

  2. Lady MJ profile image68
    Lady MJposted 13 years ago

    A lot of times when people don't understand something they want nothing to do with it. It's easier that way. If a person they know and care for has a severe mental illness, it would be easier to let the experts "deal" with it so they don't have to. Some may even find it an embarrassment that someone of their gene pool ended up that way.  They have a mental illness so "it's not like they are going to care or notice anyway."
    It's such a horrible way of thinking, but it happens.

    Although, not as severe, my husband and twin sister are both bi polar borderline schizophrenics and my youngest son has aspergers. There are days when I have to make a conscious effort to sit back, take a deep breath, and understand what is going on. It can be complicated, but there is no way I would ever even think of turning my back on them.

    1. Motherbynature profile image63
      Motherbynatureposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I think it's easier to stay when it's your immediate family.  The crazy cousin who tried to poison your dog- not so much.

    2. demonfort007 profile image63
      demonfort007posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      It's not aboutt turning your back it's about self presveration. I was married to a bipolar man and it took everything I had to surivve. It harmed my son and self. I'm not willing to scarfice my son for someone who is unwilling to get help.

  3. TheBlondie profile image60
    TheBlondieposted 13 years ago

    I think a big factor is fright. Mental illness is rare, uncharted territory, and not many people know how to deal with it or what is the best way to approach the situation. Media also exaggerates mentaal illness as well, making it seem like mental patients are dangerous, manipulative, and completely unaware of anything. Its very sad, but I don't really blame families of mental patients for being scared and unsure of what to do.

  4. duffsmom profile image60
    duffsmomposted 13 years ago

    I worked for two years in a therapist's office and they saw patients with all variety of mental illnesses.  It exhausted me being around the mentally ill.  They absolutely exhaust you, and require so much attention.

    I am not saying it is right, but I can understand the exhaustion of family members having to deal with it on a daily basis, especially schizophrenia and ultradian bi-polar disorder.  Those poor tortured souls require so much attention and vigilance that often family member become worn out--mentally and financially.  Often it has to be done to give some kind of life to the remaining children at home.

    Again, I'm not saying it is right, but I can understand the temptation to step away from a mentally ill family member--but I don't for one minute think that the family feels good about it, or has forgotten them.

  5. profile image0
    jasper420posted 12 years ago

    you simply cant help someone who isnt willing to help themselves turning your back on someone is wrong but there is a very fine line between enabling someone and helping them i myslef suffer from a mental illness and i know first hand the devistaing effects it can have on famliy members and the one suffering sometimes the best thing for one to do is get them the help they need its unhealthy for the famliy as a unit to take on the responsiblity of handling someone who is unstable on there own this can lead to dependence on both sides however sometimes some familys do tend to take the easy way out and lock the pearson up this isnt an act of love but i can understand how hard it is to see someone suffer not only hard but scary

  6. profile image50
    BrokenArrow3posted 11 years ago

    I have had 2 boyfriends with this illness,1 as a teenager & another jus recently... the1 wen i had when i was a teenager always wanted tomore or less jus sleep all the time,never wanted to get out & do anything & wasstill at home with his mother & 1 brother. The onerecently suffered from physical abuse when hewasgrowing up by both his mother & stepdads hands, suffered childhood abandonment;wasin fostercare most of hislife;was injail at 1 point of hislife way before me & been thru everything imaginable in hislifetime thus far. Some Schizophenics can snap in an instand when something triggersa bad memory. So thats why i believe most family put their loved ones in a mental hospital out ofsight out of mind +itsfor their own safety so that the1 with Schizophenia willnot bring any harmto them.

  7. profile image53
    Freyjawiredposted 10 years ago

    From my own personal experience: I do not have schizophrenia, I do have PTSD, and have met people with schizophrenia I have been admitted to a mental health hospital on more than one occasion due to poor mental health care which caused me problems I previously hadn't experienced due to poor diagnosis and pushing of psychotropic drugs by psychiatrists which just so happens to be their only social/professional function as a Dr. unless they are also a psychologist. My last diagnosis was that my parents were deemed abusive, and attributing to my PTSD caused by a whole 17 years of  childhood of emotional and mental abuse. It was in their best interest while I was hospitalized to gossip and tell the rest of our extended family that I am crazy, even though since then I have been certified sane and competent. The extended family I grew up with found it more agreeable to maintain relations with my parents as a means to dealing/coping, or in my opinion not coping (National Favorite Past Time). The day I got out of the hospital after a long stay onset by being over dosed by my Drs., which I had to find out my severe body weight loss and feeling I was going to die was real from a pharmacist at the store, and was entirely caused by the lethal cocktail of medications they prescribed and I mistakenly trusted and took. It had all started 4 years earlier when I had consecutive panic attacks on my way to work from school as I inherently knew there was something wrong in my family (my brother had just been sent to jail which I predicted a year earlier causing a fallout with my parents and junkie, manipulative, drug dealing, brother and his fiance a year earlier almost to the day). My parents, embarrassed I was correct and that he had been manipulating and using us all for the previous 5 years, chose to keep me in the dark while I worked myself into an early grave trying to compensate for the help they had promised me for my college years as their child, yet he had managed to have them completely dedicate to him as he had been raised to believe was his entitled rightful inheritance, all in attempting to avoid the emotional turmoil. As Top % of my class in Architecture 3rd year, and successfully working at my 2nd prestigious internship, years ahead of majority of my peers (nose to the grindstone), I tried to deal with my emotional discomfort with some student psychology sessions in previous years and this misdiagnosis was at a whole new level of disruption to my life.

  8. Penny G profile image61
    Penny Gposted 9 years ago

    It is going on in my family right now. I have two children with Schizophrenia and I stand by them no matter what. Sadly my other 4 children have washed their hands of my son completely and really are distancing them selves from the my daughter. I breaks my heart………sigh

    1. demonfort007 profile image63
      demonfort007posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      It's self preseveration and being around someone like that and trying to help them, when htey do not want the help can make you feel like you are going crazy. Don't sigh because your healthy children want to stay that way. Support them.

  9. demonfort007 profile image63
    demonfort007posted 8 years ago

    http://demonfort007.hubpages.com/hub/Th … rmal-Lives Here you can read my experience. It is exhausting, heartbreaking and tore me apart emotionally, physically and financially. They should be in institutions where care givers can be properly trained to deal with them.

  10. profile image56
    SunMoonStars42posted 8 years ago

    I don't understand how someone could turn their backs on a family member because of mental illness. I couldn't turn my back on my child, especially, for ANY reason!  I think when you choose to have children you have to take the good with the baf no matter what.  It's not much different than having a physical illness because you can't help it.  I agree that you need to seek help from a therapist and a psychiatrist to get on the correct medications but if you do all of that then what if that doesn't work? And for the person who posted that he/she worked around the mentally ill and it exhausted him/her, you should've found a different kind of job!

    1. demonfort007 profile image63
      demonfort007posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      You see that is where I think people are using the wrong terms. It is not turning your back. Caring for someone doens't mean you have to scarfice your own happiness and life. With mentailly ill people that is all you will ever do. It's self presverat

  11. DebraHargrove profile image63
    DebraHargroveposted 8 years ago

    It happens all the time.  It is heartbreaking to see a family member struggling with mental illness and many family members would be in denial and really are not able to handle the reality of dealing with a loved one with mental illness.

  12. Tiffsny Brantley profile image59
    Tiffsny Brantleyposted 7 years ago

    I can understand both sides, not saying I agree but I understand where they are coming from. My father has not yet been diagnosed but he is currently in jail being treated for paranoid schizophrenic. I want my father to get help and I will do anything for him, however I will not go around him or take my children around him anymore. He has threatened and attempted to act on killing my husband, the only thing that stopped him was we had moved and he didn't know. He has threatened to kill everyone at the courthouse, where my mother works, not because of marital problems but because he believes they are controlling her. He got in the car with a loaded gun and only stopped because he got a headache that made it impossible for him to even stand up. I truly think both times God stopped him from doing these because he is not in his right mind and ordinarily would never hurt a fly. After these incidents and being told repeatedly how much of a nightmare I was for asking him to get help, I decided it would be best to not go around him. That is not my father and it is not my kids papa. They are 2 and 4 and do not need to be exposed to this when they aren't able to understand. That doesn't mean that I have turned my back on him. Everytime he sees me he goes into a rage and it makes things worse on my family that still lives with him. I have been doing everything I can for the past 2 years to get him help. Sometimes it is best to let them go for a while until they are stable enough to interact safely with people again.

  13. beckysue33 profile image58
    beckysue33posted 7 years ago

    Yes, I understood too well that people give you attitudes and speak to you as if you have no idea what they mean. smile There is the embarrassment that relatives get when you "act out" or they think you are always in a fog. Not the case at all. Some people get "cured" by not being on so many drugs or just having someone to talk to.

  14. east-west pro profile image44
    east-west proposted 7 years ago

    It happens. The reason is its really very hard to deal with them on a daily basis!. Their education, carrier and marriage, generally, ends in disaster! If suffering is their karma, then looking after them may be the karma of their family members!

    They should not be abandoned.

    In India, we look after them as any other family member unlike in the west where most of them are instituitionalised.

    Now, Yoga is wide spread and is available even online enabling them to learn yoga and become their own therapist!.


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