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Starting a family while experiencing mental health issues 

Community Member

After I was discharged from a mental ward at age 20, I talked with my mum about starting a family of my own in 10 years. Mum said that the mental therapy clinic I was seeing may not let me become a mother. I had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and, a few years later, depression.

It seems when a person is diagnosed with a mental illness, there are social constraints - they can't drive a car or have kids, due to the instability of their psychiatric condition.

Would you say this is true? I think if a person has thoughts of harming themselves or others it would be of concern. I have never had thoughts of harming myself or others, I'm too sensitive to even dream it. I lack training in looking after others, but the worst that could happen is if I temporarily forget something or get exhausted easily.

1 Reply 1

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi ScarlettR,

Thanks for sharing your story, you sound like a kind, considerate person to me.

Unfortunately I'm not qualified to answer whether people with paranoid schizophrenia are prevented from having children, though I've never heard of such a thing and I would be surprised if that were the case. I'm sure you know (unlike most of the population) that paranoid schizophrenics are far more likely to be the victim of violence than instigators, and yet we have some silly stigma floating around that it's the other way around.

I'm sorry I can't definitively answer your question, but the SANE helpline on 1800 18 72 63, or perhaps the NDIS line on 1800 800 110 could help you with an answer.

Good luck 🙂