Tuesday, March 30, 2010

With only a few weeks to go before I can meet my baby boy, I am starting to notice I will be a protective mommy. One of the facts that I just have to face in life is that mental illness runs in my family. As most of you know, these illnesses overlap so family members will not experience the same illness or to the same degree. My brother seems to have the most debilitating form of mental illness out of anyone in the family. So, I am one who fully supports prevention or delayed onset of illness through proper nutrition and education. Some may say I am being over cautious but I am thankful to have a family who is educated and open about mental illness. I know I can't CONTROL life, but certainly, I can derail or alter certain things.

When I became pregnant, I was overwhelmed with joy. But my obsessive thoughts soon created anxiety and tension. I thought, what if I pass this genetic link onto my son? It took a while to get over the guilt and realize that as horrible as this disease can be, my husband and I would get through it as a team. Throughout my pregnancy I made sure I took more than enough EPA, DHA, vitamin D and choline. I am sick of egg sandwiches (eggs are high in choline). All of these supplements can aid in healthy brain development. I figure, he will be in-utero only once, so I better do it right. My husband and I eat organic and all natural where ever possible since cancer is very prominent in his family. It is amazing how much of our foods are laced with man made chemicals. Who knows what effects these chemicals have on our precious, human tissue. The following article sheds light on the positive effects fish oil may have on mental illness.

I promise not to worry too much but I will be aware. I feel that being prepared with the right tools or being able to notice early symptoms may result in a better outcome later in life. I guess this is what it feels like to be a mother:)


  1. I'm with you on this one. I have a schizophrenic brother as well and I find it overwhelming to look at my daughter and wonder if it will affect her too.

  2. You have to get over the idea that mental "illness" is a genetic disorder. Having studied biology, you sure know that the gene pool of any species has a certain amount of variability. In humans, this variability is high, we are experiments of evolution, as anyone sees. (Or are there any animals we can take as a guiding line???)
    So, unless a genetic variability means a severe and proper disability, there is also the chance that it's an improvement. In the case of schizophrenia, I'm sure that it's an improvement, schizophrenics are sensible, peaceful, intelligent, etc. all traits of the human species that will be predominant in 100.000 years.
    (And I'm quite positive that much of the other disorders, like borderline, bipolar, depression, anxiety... all have the same basic cause, that of their brains being more sensible and more dynamic, and not as robust as the majority of nowadays, those aggressive egomaniacs.)
    So I'm quite sure that those who are today regarded as mentally ill have something in them which will be the standard in a couple of millions of years.

    That's evolution, more complicated as you may think, baby, ... (had to use this word, honey, but I'm sure you will hate it, but it was meant to mean that you have to learn...)
    (Don't mean the "honey" as literal as it sounds, was just a weird follow-up.)
    Evolution is just a risk/chance game, if you risk nothing, your offspring will be retarded and extinct in a few thousand years, if you risk more your offspring might be highly qualified to be amongst what humanity is about to become...

    The main problem is that people are not able to see wide enough into the future, they believe what's happening these decades and centuries is what it's going to be like in many millennia, but that's completely wrong and ridiculously short-sighted.
    The future will be no work (computers, robots), no competition (love is better), no fear (because of medicine and philosophical understanding), no stupidity.
    And then schizos like me rule (sorry for that word, stupid phrase), and your family will be among the winners tambien.
    (Spanish, you like it?)

    I'm a bit smiling about your anxiety, typical first-time-mother symptom, imagine you had five children already, and that's just another case now.

  3. Hi AC,


    Love your son like there's no tomorrow. That's all that matters. I know you will.

    I chose not to have kids. I have a niece and nephew I love like a second mother.

    He will be the love of your life. What a treasure!


  4. I think the most important thing you can do for your son IS recongize the early warning signs. If I had been to therapy a lot sooner than I had then it wouldn't have hit as hard. I know I would still have schizophernia, but I wouldn't have been escorted by four uniformed police officers to a mental unit aganist my will.

    I wish I were so lucky to only have to worry that my child would get my genetic link. Sometimes I even wish I was a man so I would be easier too. However, being a woman with schizophernia makes it VERY difficult to carry a child! All my friends tell me by the time I am ready they will invite medicine that I can take that won't hurt the baby. However, every year at my phsyical with my primary care doctor we go over birth control methods because no way is my child coming out like a crack baby, but worse! I have made the decision that when I am ready I will adopt.

    Wishing you all the best on your delievery date,

  5. Amanda, you will be a great mom:) and there are so many children who need to be adopted into loving homes!!!

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  7. Thanks Amber. Even if I didn't have to worry about my baby turning into a crack baby, but worse because of my meds. there is the hormone issue. That's why take birth control because my hormones REALLY effect my schizophernia. I am going to take HRT when I go through menopause too! And you know being pregnant there are SO MANY different hormone changes.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for saying I would be a great Mom. That means a lot to me. My therapist adopted her child not because she has a mental illness, but she got married later in life and went through early menopause. She loves her daughter and makes me want to adopt a child between three and five years old. Many people including my good friend who moved to Virgnia because she got married (I met her because we were both clients of the Friendship House), anyway they all apply for zero to two years. I think there are a lot of toddlers out there that need Mommies and Daddies too. My therapist got her daughter as a toddler.

    Anyway, thanks for saying that.