Mental health disorders are only now beginning to be truly understood for the difficulties they bring to individuals and their families. No longer is depression simply regarded as being sad, but it is instead a brain disorder that causes chemical changes in the way we process thoughts and ideas. If you have an untreated mental health disorder, you can cause problems for your children in many different ways, including the ones presented below.

Fetal Environment

Studies have shown that fetuses with stressed, sad or otherwise anxious parents are more likely to have mental health issues themselves. Because of this, OB/GYN doctors will encourage patients to be on psychological medications that are rated safe for the baby.

Poor Parenting Skills

Many parents with mental health issues become so focused on themselves that they may accidentally neglect their children. In cases like this, social workers may be called in to help that parent set themselves up for success, and ensure that the children get the care they need. Find the psychological help you need early to prevent the terrible circumstance of being separated from your children.


Many mental health disorders have a genetic component. From ADHD and dyslexia to schizophrenia, these issues will strike multiple generations, often beginning in puberty. Without a parent’s ability to manage their condition, the child is more likely to fail. This is not just because they believe it cannot be done—there is likely subconscious pressure for the child to not be better than their parent.

Stressful Environment

A number of recent studies have shown that home stress is one of the best indicators of academic success. Stress can come from neglect, fighting at home, food insecurity, financial insecurity and caring for a sick or mentally ill parent. If a mental illness is left unchecked, the role of parent and child can reverse. This can mean academic failure, depression, anxiety and coping mechanisms like overeating and acting out in kids. The intervention of a social worker can again help parents and kids to regain healthy roles.

Many people who have mental health conditions are wonderful, loving, dedicated, successful parents. Those with the best record tend to have knowledge of and control over their condition. They have a good support system and take the time to care for themselves so that they can be better at caring for others.

For those who are just discovering a new mental health issue, social workers who have graduated from online schools for social work and other local support groups can offer help to you and your family. Successful families with mental health issues are often incredibly compassionate and helpful to others who struggle with any form of parenting issue.

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