Schizophrenia and parenthood

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colibri
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Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by colibri » Mon May 29, 2017 5:36 pm

Hello,

I wanted to ask you whether there are any teachings of the Buddha that are applicable to solve moral dilemma. Basically, if one parent has schizophrenia, the chance that child will have the same illness is 17%, as compared to 1% in general population. So - is it ethical for a person with schizophrenia to have children?

Etiology of schizophrenia is more complex - there are other factors that may help this hereditary factor to manifest. There are medicines that can help with complete remission of schizophrenia once it manifests itself but then treatment with these medicines is required for many years or even the life time.

Thank you

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Jesse
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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by Jesse » Mon May 29, 2017 6:19 pm

Absolutely not. That kind of selfishness is what hurts people. Why do that when they can adopt? I've heard so many people make the argument that adoption is too expensive. If adoption is too expensive for you, so is having a child.

Imagine your parents decided to have you knowing that you had a sizable chance to inherit some disease like schizophrenia, or aids even. Would you want your parents to have had you?
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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by Virgo » Mon May 29, 2017 10:27 pm

Jesse wrote: Imagine your parents decided to have you knowing that you had a sizable chance to inherit some disease like schizophrenia, or aids even. Would you want your parents to have had you?
Yeah.

Kevin

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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by Jesse » Mon May 29, 2017 11:16 pm

Ever experienced what it's like to live with schizophrenia?

http://schizophrenia.com/suicide.html

Suicide is, unfortunately, one of the leading causes of death for people with schizophrenia. Upwards of 40% of people that have schizophrenia will attempt suicide at least once. Males with schizophrenia attempt suicide at a much higher rate than females; approximately 60% of them will make at least one attempt. The result of these attempts is that between 10% and 15% of people with schizophrenia have historically committed suicide.

Let's say you developed schizophrenia tomorrow. Not schizoid, or lesser version of it. Almost guaranteed that you would consider suicide within the first month.
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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by Virgo » Tue May 30, 2017 12:34 am

Jesse wrote: Let's say you developed schizophrenia tomorrow. Not schizoid, or lesser version of it. Almost guaranteed that you would consider suicide within the first month.
No, I don't think so...

Kevin

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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by Jesse » Tue May 30, 2017 12:43 am

Virgo wrote:
Jesse wrote: Let's say you developed schizophrenia tomorrow. Not schizoid, or lesser version of it. Almost guaranteed that you would consider suicide within the first month.
No, I don't think so...

Kevin
If you say so. Because 70% of males with schizophrenia attempt suicide, that means an even larger percent seriously think about it. I would guess everyone with schizophrenia will at some point seriously consider it. People who have never experienced what it's like to live with conditions like these really don't have a clue. It's literally one the most devastating, painful, and horrific conditions you can have.

Not only do you personally suffer greatly, it also hurts the people around you. It causes your close friends, and family much pain, and stress as well. These sorts of diseases can devastate not just the sufferer, but also everyone who cares about that person.

So just shrugging it off like it's no big deal, in my mind is very arrogant, and ignorant.

Let me also add that schizophrenia is a life-long condition. There is no cure. Very very very few people ever experience remission. (If any truly do.)
We also still live in an age where doctors believe that the solution to these sorts of problems is finding the right combination of drugs. Drugs can help people with these conditions, but they certainly are not a cure, and always come with severe side effects. Sometimes the side effects are even worse than many of the problems they are made to treat.

Let me also add this is very much a personal topic for me. I have lost one friend to schizophrenia. I have also personally suffered from psychosis of varied types. I know exactly how painful, and devastating it is. If a single human being could be spared from this disease, we should do everything in our power to make it happen.

This is literally no different than bringing a person into the world who will never truly be happy, will live in constant fear, pain, anxiety, and will never be able to maintain friendships or other types of relationships.. most will never be able to hold a job for very long. They would also have a very high chance of ending their own life to escape the sheer amount of suffering caused by their condition, and somehow this is OK?

I don't think so.
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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by Ayu » Tue May 30, 2017 6:18 am

Reminder: the OP asked for Buddha's teachings about issues like this. (Sorry, I don't know any.)

And the number 17% implies that 83% of such children are not likely to develop the desease.
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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by muni » Tue May 30, 2017 8:36 am

One day a question was asked to H H Dalai Lama regarding children with severe health condition, and he replied if the child will have a life in which it is constantly in difficulties or suffering and cannot have a life without, then we must use compassion towards this and sometimes it can be a reason to stop the pregnancy ( after investigation by medical team). Because in that case life would only be unbearable suffering and the way beyond possible not available.

In this particular case, there is no pregnancy and no certainty and I do not know how much the suffering in this particular case is, I can only read about.
If you ask me: what should you do, I would say: no, I do not take this risk to give birth to a child what is risking to suffer extra and have it difficult to awaken or difficultly benefit from compassionate guidance to transcend complex suffering.
Many children are born while the parents had no idea to have some genetic disturbances, they had no idea from before this was possible and are helpless seeing how the children are suffering. When you know there is more chance to have a child with severe health issues, think twice, it is not about you - the wish to have a child, it is about the eventually child.

At the other hand, the medical science is developing regarding DNA, and there would be the possibility, to investigate ( let it be only for medical reason). This to avoid ( 17%) a pregnancy leading to a poor child and an uncomfortable life, possibly not able to transcend its’ suffering.

There are many children, needing care, hoping to have some love, a family right now. When children with health issues are not frightening you, there are those right now, who need very much loving parents.
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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by Virgo » Tue May 30, 2017 5:26 pm

Yes, the peope with the uh schizophrenia should not have children.

Kevin

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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by Jesse » Tue May 30, 2017 7:47 pm

muni wrote:
There are many children, needing care, hoping to have some love, a family right now. When children with health issues are not frightening you, there are those right now, who need very much loving parents.
This is exactly my point, why take a chance of bringing more suffering into the world, when those who genuinely want children can adopt, which will help reduce the suffering of both the child, and give the parent something they desire. (a child.)

@ Ayu ... Due to the severe nature of the disease, I think 17% is still far to high a chance. We aren't talking about someone born with a mild condition.. it is a condition that will drastically change the course of the person's life for the worse. There are better alternatives.

I also don't think the Buddha prescribed anything for a condition that was only discovered in the past 100 years or so. I suppose you could say that Buddhism would advocate for the path which results in the least suffering.
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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by AlexanderS » Tue May 30, 2017 10:34 pm

colibri wrote:Hello,

I wanted to ask you whether there are any teachings of the Buddha that are applicable to solve moral dilemma. Basically, if one parent has schizophrenia, the chance that child will have the same illness is 17%, as compared to 1% in general population. So - is it ethical for a person with schizophrenia to have children?

Etiology of schizophrenia is more complex - there are other factors that may help this hereditary factor to manifest. There are medicines that can help with complete remission of schizophrenia once it manifests itself but then treatment with these medicines is required for many years or even the life time.

Thank you
I personally think it depends on how mature and functional and loving the parents rather than anything else. A lot of people without severe mental illness have children and end up messing them up, because they were never mature enough for the job. If someone with scizophrenia has their illness well managed, they might be good enough parents. I don't feel you generalize.

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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by Ayu » Wed May 31, 2017 9:16 am

Another thought: pregnancy and caretaking for a child are big tasks and they need much strengh and health.
So, even if the child is okay genetically - what about the parents? Are they fit enough to make the grade?

If the mother has schizophrenia, pregnancy will be a hard challenge for her, because pregnancy is difficult for the mental state also.
(Schizophrenia and Pregnancy: http://www.uofmhealth.org/node/651490 )
And men are affected as well by becoming a father. There is a time of uncertainity and often fathers-to-be develop psychosomatic syndromes for some time during the pregnacy of their partner. So, pregnancy and childcare is a challenge for men either.
And if the mother is healthy mentally, she still needs someone or people to support her.

In short: pregnancy and childcare are difficult. One shouldn't underestimate that. Also a healthy social environment is needed.
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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by Jesse » Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:27 pm

Ayu wrote:Another thought: pregnancy and caretaking for a child are big tasks and they need much strengh and health.
So, even if the child is okay genetically - what about the parents? Are they fit enough to make the grade?

If the mother has schizophrenia, pregnancy will be a hard challenge for her, because pregnancy is difficult for the mental state also.
(Schizophrenia and Pregnancy: http://www.uofmhealth.org/node/651490 )
And men are affected as well by becoming a father. There is a time of uncertainity and often fathers-to-be develop psychosomatic syndromes for some time during the pregnacy of their partner. So, pregnancy and childcare is a challenge for men either.
And if the mother is healthy mentally, she still needs someone or people to support her.

In short: pregnancy and childcare are difficult. One shouldn't underestimate that. Also a healthy social environment is needed.
Exactly why I will never have children! Man, just imagining me being a parent and I feel horrible for the imaginary children. :rolling:
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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:09 am

if the likelihood of the child developing schizophrenia is 17%, then it is 83% ethical to have children.
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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by Bodhisattva_path » Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:19 pm

Virgo wrote:
Jesse wrote: Imagine your parents decided to have you knowing that you had a sizable chance to inherit some disease like schizophrenia, or aids even. Would you want your parents to have had you?
Yeah.

Kevin
Same here. Every person and creature is given chance in the world.. :shrug: Also this kind of interpretation is very much Mengele. Sorry.

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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by WuMing » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:07 am

Bodhisattva_path wrote:
Virgo wrote:
Jesse wrote: Imagine your parents decided to have you knowing that you had a sizable chance to inherit some disease like schizophrenia, or aids even. Would you want your parents to have had you?
Yeah.

Kevin
Same here. Every person and creature is given chance in the world.. :shrug: Also this kind of interpretation is very much Mengele. Sorry.
You missed Jesse's point (as far as I have understood it)! And I guess you don't know what you're talking about. Sorry!
It is about not creating suffering to the best of ones ability and not about selection - big difference!
Last edited by WuMing on Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
今以佛眼觀之佛與眾生同住解脫之床。無此無彼無二平等。
Now, observing with the eye of the Buddha, both the Buddha and ordinary beings are in the same liberated state. There is neither this nor that: there is only non-duality and identity.
- 空海 Kūkai in Unjigi 吽字義 The Meaning of the Letter Hūṃ
- Kūkai on the Philosophy of Language by Takagi Shingen and Dreitlein Eijō
_______
Śrī Singha said to Padmasambhava:
Since buddhas and sentient beings are inseparable and the same, it is necessary to respect all sentient beings as being on the same level with the buddhas. Can you?
- translated by Malcolm N. Smith

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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by Ayu » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:30 am

WuMing wrote:
Bodhisattva_path wrote:
Virgo wrote: Yeah.

Kevin
Same here. Every person and creature is given chance in the world.. :shrug: Also this kind of interpretation is very much Mengele. Sorry.
You missed Jesse's point (as far as I have understood it)! And I guess you don't know what you're talking about. Sorry! It is about reducing suffering and not about selection - big difference!
It is doubtful, if parents-to-be can really judge about the reduction of suffering for their child. I still think, concentrating on the shortcomings of the child is wrong thinking.
The question if the parents are willing and have the ability to raise a child is more important, I believe.
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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by WuMing » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:51 am

Ayu wrote:
WuMing wrote:
Bodhisattva_path wrote:
Same here. Every person and creature is given chance in the world.. :shrug: Also this kind of interpretation is very much Mengele. Sorry.
You missed Jesse's point (as far as I have understood it)! And I guess you don't know what you're talking about. Sorry! It is about reducing suffering and not about selection - big difference!
It is doubtful, if parents-to-be can really judge about the reduction of suffering for their child. I still think, concentrating on the shortcomings of the child is wrong thinking.
The question if the parents are willing and have the ability to raise a child is more important, I believe.
Schizophrenia is not a shortcoming!
今以佛眼觀之佛與眾生同住解脫之床。無此無彼無二平等。
Now, observing with the eye of the Buddha, both the Buddha and ordinary beings are in the same liberated state. There is neither this nor that: there is only non-duality and identity.
- 空海 Kūkai in Unjigi 吽字義 The Meaning of the Letter Hūṃ
- Kūkai on the Philosophy of Language by Takagi Shingen and Dreitlein Eijō
_______
Śrī Singha said to Padmasambhava:
Since buddhas and sentient beings are inseparable and the same, it is necessary to respect all sentient beings as being on the same level with the buddhas. Can you?
- translated by Malcolm N. Smith

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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by Ayu » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:05 am

WuMing wrote:
Ayu wrote:
WuMing wrote:
You missed Jesse's point (as far as I have understood it)! And I guess you don't know what you're talking about. Sorry! It is about reducing suffering and not about selection - big difference!
It is doubtful, if parents-to-be can really judge about the reduction of suffering for their child. I still think, concentrating on the shortcomings of the child is wrong thinking.
The question if the parents are willing and have the ability to raise a child is more important, I believe.
Schizophrenia is not a shortcoming!
Okay. Probably I chose a wrong word? How would you name it instead?
Why should anybody think of preventing the birth of a child that could suffer 17% from schizoprenia?
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
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WuMing
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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by WuMing » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:45 am

Ayu wrote:
WuMing wrote:
Ayu wrote: It is doubtful, if parents-to-be can really judge about the reduction of suffering for their child. I still think, concentrating on the shortcomings of the child is wrong thinking.
The question if the parents are willing and have the ability to raise a child is more important, I believe.
Schizophrenia is not a shortcoming!
Okay. Probably I chose a wrong word? How would you name it instead?
Why should anybody think of preventing the birth of a child that could suffer 17% from schizoprenia?
Schizophrenia is a serious illness. I've been working in a mental hospital and have seen young people suffer from it. Seeing that you do not wish anybody suffering from Schizophrenia.

And it is not about preventing birth of a child it is about choosing not to reproduce when you know that you possibly pass on Schizophrenia. Considering that, the decision not to reproduce can be an act of compassion.

I know people who suffer from severe illnesses and who choose not to reproduce because of the possibility to pass it on, some are sad about it but none of them want anybody other suffer from that. To reproduce and knowing that it is very likely that one will pass on a serious illness would be very difficult to bear for them.

Do you see the difference?
今以佛眼觀之佛與眾生同住解脫之床。無此無彼無二平等。
Now, observing with the eye of the Buddha, both the Buddha and ordinary beings are in the same liberated state. There is neither this nor that: there is only non-duality and identity.
- 空海 Kūkai in Unjigi 吽字義 The Meaning of the Letter Hūṃ
- Kūkai on the Philosophy of Language by Takagi Shingen and Dreitlein Eijō
_______
Śrī Singha said to Padmasambhava:
Since buddhas and sentient beings are inseparable and the same, it is necessary to respect all sentient beings as being on the same level with the buddhas. Can you?
- translated by Malcolm N. Smith

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