Schizophrenia and parenthood

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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by Ayu » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:50 pm

WuMing wrote:...

Do you see the difference?
Yes, no problem. We made just different emphases but I see no contradiction between our viewpoints. I agree to your message.
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Hate is too great a burden to bear.
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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by tellyontellyon » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:11 pm

The way we think about, treat and talk about schizophrenia may play a major part in the suffering that comes with a diagnosis of 'schizophrenia'. I don't think it is helpful to sufferers living right now to send out the message that it would have been better if they had never been born.
There is much more evidence now that shows that schizophrenia is not some sort of incurable genetic brain disease, but is much more complex and greatly affected by childhood trauma.

This talk by the psychologist and researcher Eleanor Longden gives a far more hopeful point of view.
https://youtu.be/syjEN3peCJw
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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by seeker242 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:51 am

colibri wrote:
Mon May 29, 2017 5:36 pm
Hello,

I wanted to ask you whether there are any teachings of the Buddha that are applicable
Some here regarding sickness.
7. "Here, student, some woman or man is one who harms beings with his hands or with clods or with sticks or with knives. Due to having performed and completed such kammas, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in a state of deprivation... If instead he comes to the human state, he is sickly wherever he is reborn. This is the way that leads to sickness, that is to say, to be one who harms beings with one's hands or with clods or with sticks or with knives.

8. "But here some woman or man is not one who harms beings with his hands, or with clods, or with sticks, or with knives. Due to having performed and completed such kammas, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in a happy destination... If instead he comes to the human state, he is healthy wherever he is reborn. This is the way that leads to health, that is to say, not to be one who harms beings with his hands or with clods or with sticks or with knives.

Cula-kammavibhanga Sutta: The Shorter Exposition of Kamma
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by Invokingvajras » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:07 am

Mental illness in general is a really tricky topic as it relates to practice.

How would a contemporary psychologist, assuming they were 100% honest in their field, diagnose an enlightened being? Or someone who's even attained stream-entry or any of the bhumi? Or someone had simply witnessed the activity of a ghost or a deva? Would explicitly stating your faith tradition play a part in the diagnosis?

It would seem difficult to engage in a frank dialogue about these sorts of religious experiences. Culture has also shaped the conversation a great deal. The insights of those honored as shamans, contemplatives, and holy men in one place may be regarded as lunacy elsewhere.

I'd imagine a Buddha could be consistent and insightful enough to be convincing. As for those with lesser grades of awakening, I'm not so sure.
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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by Jesse » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:22 am

Invokingvajras wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:07 am
Mental illness in general is a really tricky topic as it relates to practice.

How would a contemporary psychologist, assuming they were 100% honest in their field, diagnose an enlightened being? Or someone who's even attained stream-entry or any of the bhumi? Or someone had simply witnessed the activity of a ghost or a deva? Would explicitly stating your faith tradition play a part in the diagnosis?

It would seem difficult to engage in a frank dialogue about these sorts of religious experiences. Culture has also shaped the conversation a great deal. The insights of those honored as shamans, contemplatives, and holy men in one place may be regarded as lunacy elsewhere.

I'd imagine a Buddha could be consistent and insightful enough to be convincing. As for those with lesser grades of awakening, I'm not so sure.
Any Psych Related Doctor (Psychiatrist/Clinical Psychologist) would take the persons faith, and religious beliefs into account. It's still not an easy task. Psychosis and other mental issues can become intertwined with mental illness, it's can become an almost impossible task to then try to separate them.

In fact, I've never met a doctor good enough to treat someone in this particular situation. (treat them well, anyway).

Many religious/spiritual practices can most certainly exacerbate mental illnesses, especially psychosis. While other practices can help to treat these illnesses or their symptoms.

Especially newer practitioners who have begun to seriously practice Buddhism, and Meditation. There are many experiences one can have, that when grasped on to, and/or obsessed over; can very much cause, worsen, or reinforce psychotic beliefs/tendencies and thinking.

The absolute most useful tools in Buddhism are detachment/mindfulness, and relaxation -- for people with mental health issues that is. I'm sure everyone has been instructed at one point or another not to hang on, or grasp onto spiritual experiences we have had. This is a very important lesson everyone should learn, and it should be learned/taught as early as possible.

I think it's important for all Buddhist practice but especially important for more esoteric forms of Buddhism. (Vajrayana, etc.)
The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
-Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by Jesse » Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:11 am

Jesse wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:22 am
Psychosis and other mental issues can become intertwined with mental illness, it's can become an almost impossible task to then try to separate them.
Sorry, Just now caught this.

Should have read: Psychosis and other mental health issues can become intertwined with peoples religious beliefs/spirituality.
The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
-Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by DiamondMeru » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:34 am

My great grandmother, and my grandmother had paranoid schizophrenia and where hospitalized. I have schizoaffective disorder which is milder with bipolar symptoms. If they didn’t have children I wouldn’t be here, and I don’t believe in having children with my condition. I have met other mentally ill people who have children, sometimes the children help the parents more than if they did not have kids.
Religiosity is a big pitfall for me, but I keep returning to spiritual practices because meditation and faith give me peace. Also my delusions are centered on the belief that I feel to my core this world is an illusion, psychiatrists call that false belief but Buddhist ideas seem to confirm my reality that this is just a dream.
Anyway, I still medicate to be sure I am grounded in “Reality.” Perhaps mental illness needs to perpetuate itself so that we can see our past karma and the see things a normal mind cannot.

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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by Ogyen » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:43 pm

There's an assumption in this thread that everyone having babies even knows schizophrenia runs in the family. Psychology is a relatively new mind-trip. The older cultures viewed things like mental illness as being touched by the gods, or people who had a special connection to reality... Jung based the majority of his lifestyle work researching thousands of cases internationally focusing on what is today named schizoaffective disorder. As it's been my area of study for various decades, I can say there is a lot of misinformation on this topic. I'm not even going to bother going into the savage misconceptions about what it is that I'm seeing it discussed as in this thread because I don't have that much time to post.

What I can say is, please educate yourself beyond movies and pop-psychology. There is too much ignorance and objectification of schizophrenia as a "thing".. this is a complex manifestation of many factors and statistics are paid for by big pharma for a reason. Many people are children of schizophrenics with thriving successful lives. Do you think our great grandparents had any idea about this when they were having babies? It is something that ultimately IS up to every individual choice.

You could make the very same question about any number of horrific conditions that are passed on thru the genes and the answers wouldn't vary much.

People with bigotry, ignorance and hatred are much more at risk than schizophrenics for horrible karma and causing sever damage, but hey they're able to procreate without issues.. and prolifically.

Can anyone provide a reference for the HHDL proposed comment around terminating a pregnancy... A link, article anything to see the broader context of the comment?
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"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy

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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by TharpaChodron » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:19 am

Although I wouldn't ever say that all people diagnosed with schizophrenia are incapable of parenting or should never have children, I work in child welfare (sorry have to throw that out there again) and regularly see the huge negative impact it can have on parenting capabilities.

The "Child Welfare and Institutions" law code describes schizophrenia as a mental illness which is
a valid reason to not offer reunification services to a parent when their child is detained and becomes a dependent. Untreated mental illness, often combined with substance abuse, really affects a person's ability to parent.

And fyi, you can't detain a child just because the parent is schizophrenic, you have to show evidence of how it places a child at imminent risk of harm or abuse, which is sadly, quite easy to show in the many examples I know of. Trauma history, lack of family support, as well as untreated substance abuse definitely have a high impact, as well. Complicating factors, for sure.

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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by Ogyen » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:46 am

TharpaChodron wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:19 am
Although I wouldn't ever say that all people diagnosed with schizophrenia are incapable of parenting or should never have children, I work in child welfare (sorry have to throw that out there again) and regularly see the huge negative impact it can have on parenting capabilities.

The "Child Welfare and Institutions" law code describes schizophrenia as a mental illness which is
a valid reason to not offer reunification services to a parent when their child is detained and becomes a dependent. Untreated mental illness, often combined with substance abuse, really affects a person's ability to parent.

And fyi, you can't detain a child just because the parent is schizophrenic, you have to show evidence of how it places a child at imminent risk of harm or abuse, which is sadly, quite easy to show in the many examples I know of. Trauma history, lack of family support, as well as untreated substance abuse definitely have a high impact, as well. Complicating factors, for sure.
I completely agree with the reality of the welfare system (in the US?). The same can be said about susbstance and alcohol abuse, and a whole range of conditions which impair positive parenting. The cycle of abuse is a real thing, and to be severely affected as a child, you don't have to just have a schizophrenic parent to experience it. There are plenty of totally screwed up unloved kids in the system that come from legally and clinically "sane"parents.

My point was to see this broader and not further stigmatize an already profoundly misunderstood condition that is slapped
with every kind of misconceptualized label out there. Family support and networks are key when raising kids, even if you're completely free of diagnosable mental illnesses. Parenting is a tough gig. No matter what.

I also know several schizophrenics close to my life who have benefitted from connecting with a good teacher, meditation and calming can help get bothersome symptoms to be more manageable, and meditation in general can also help a lot with many mental illnesses. A couple others not so much.

I'm asking some Dharma friends if they know of any sutras with discussion around illness and parenting .. It's an interesting topic, thanks for a stimulating discussion!!

:meditate:
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The Heart Drive - nosce te ipsum

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy

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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by Ogyen » Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:55 am

muni wrote:
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.
http://en.dhammadana.org/sangha/vinaya/227/4pk.htm
See Parajika 3

This basically days that even if a monk encourages another to die thinking it will relieve their suffering - it's an offense of expulsion from the Sangha....So the Buddha took this very seriously. That's if the sick person took the advice and actually died - the monk or nun will then be expelled, and because death does not ease suffering, because their bad karma has not been used up yet. So even if you kill them, they will still have to endure the rest of the bad karma.

How did HHDL address this point .. I'd like to see a link or anything where he is talking about this because it goes counter to what I know of this point. As soon have learned it... Nothing is more precious than life even when it's filled with suffering... It's a gift you get to burn off karma, and your merits brought these conditions together. Being helpless is part of life. But we do the best we can, and let death be another inevitable part of life.

All I'm saying is - you don't know whether a baby's life will be good or bad. And I don't think anyone has a right to take a baby's life just because of an opinion that it will be bad. And I've seen some.mention of arrogance and such... but projecting so called "compassion" onto babies thinking that what's best for them is killing them - what if the years defy all of expectations?! We can't read the future. But karma is an unerring shadow.

If you choose to not have children altogether, that is also very responsible and kudos to you for making a very personal choice. But saying having a child is unethical is a really hard statement that is too broad and doesn't reflect reality as reality happens.

Mental illness doesn't run in my family, it strolls through taking nice long promenades. I'm not piping up with a total lack of awareness and understanding on the subject, this is also a very personal topic. The bottom line to me as a practitioner is life is precious even if it's a life you hated receiving. You get what everyone else got... One life.. however long short happy or tragic that is. It's what the package was coming in. And per the Buddhist philosophy, *you* set it all up in this ocean of samsara with your choices life after life... As long as there's life there's a chance to do some good.

:meditate:
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The Heart Drive - nosce te ipsum

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy

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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by muni » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:44 am

Ogyen wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:55 am

http://en.dhammadana.org/sangha/vinaya/227/4pk.htm
See Parajika 3

This basically days that even if a monk encourages another to die thinking it will relieve their suffering - it's an offense of expulsion from the Sangha....So the Buddha took this very seriously. That's if the sick person took the advice and actually died - the monk or nun will then be expelled, and because death does not ease suffering, because their bad karma has not been used up yet. So even if you kill them, they will still have to endure the rest of the bad karma.

How did HHDL address this point .. I'd like to see a link or anything where he is talking about this because it goes counter to what I know of this point. As soon have learned it... Nothing is more precious than life even when it's filled with suffering... It's a gift you get to burn off karma, and your merits brought these conditions together. Being helpless is part of life. But we do the best we can, and let death be another inevitable part of life.

All I'm saying is - you don't know whether a baby's life will be good or bad. And I don't think anyone has a right to take a baby's life just because of an opinion that it will be bad. And I've seen some.mention of arrogance and such... but projecting so called "compassion" onto babies thinking that what's best for them is killing them - what if the years defy all of expectations?! We can't read the future. But karma is an unerring shadow.

If you choose to not have children altogether, that is also very responsible and kudos to you for making a very personal choice. But saying having a child is unethical is a really hard statement that is too broad and doesn't reflect reality as reality happens.

Mental illness doesn't run in my family, it strolls through taking nice long promenades. I'm not piping up with a total lack of awareness and understanding on the subject, this is also a very personal topic. The bottom line to me as a practitioner is life is precious even if it's a life you hated receiving. You get what everyone else got... One life.. however long short happy or tragic that is. It's what the package was coming in. And per the Buddhist philosophy, *you* set it all up in this ocean of samsara with your choices life after life... As long as there's life there's a chance to do some good.

:meditate:
Hi Ogyen,

I remember it was a question H H Dalai Lama got from a person in the audience. It could have been about the Paramitas but not sure, I forgot. He said something like if the little one could only be born with having pain whole the time or strong mental handicap by which only suffering can be, or the mother her life is in danger, then there must be contemplated about what is the best to do. Never merely taking life because there is a handicap! I went to search on google.
When I was in Lithuania a few years ago, I visited a nursery and I was told, "All these children are unwanted." So I think it is better that that situation be stopped right from the beginning -- birth control. Of course, abortion, from a Buddhist viewpoint, is an act of killing and is negative, generally speaking. But it depends on the circumstances. If the unborn child will be retarded or if the birth will create serious problems for the parent, these are cases where there can be an exception. I think abortion should be approved or disapproved according to each circumstance. H H Dalai Lama.
He said as well that a whole team of doctors had to examine very well together with the parents.

I worked by strong disabled babies a while and to see their first smile makes the option of taking hand to “different unborn life” not existing.
Another case, a young man from an identical twin. His brother became a lawyer, he remained a baby, could only cry and lay in bed, harmed himself by waving his powerful fists, they had to attach his hands and feet. He slept or cried.





I am going of topic. Here it is about Schizophrenia, medicines help to reduce the suffering. People have to ponder about and take their responsibility as much as possible, just like everyone.

All children-fellows need right care, right support.

:heart: :group:
“ Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. ”
H H Dalai Lama

"Relax." nirvana-samsara do not stray from spaciousness.

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Re: Schizophrenia and parenthood

Post by TharpaChodron » Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:19 am

Ogyen wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:46 am
TharpaChodron wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:19 am
Although I wouldn't ever say that all people diagnosed with schizophrenia are incapable of parenting or should never have children, I work in child welfare (sorry have to throw that out there again) and regularly see the huge negative impact it can have on parenting capabilities.

The "Child Welfare and Institutions" law code describes schizophrenia as a mental illness which is
a valid reason to not offer reunification services to a parent when their child is detained and becomes a dependent. Untreated mental illness, often combined with substance abuse, really affects a person's ability to parent.

And fyi, you can't detain a child just because the parent is schizophrenic, you have to show evidence of how it places a child at imminent risk of harm or abuse, which is sadly, quite easy to show in the many examples I know of. Trauma history, lack of family support, as well as untreated substance abuse definitely have a high impact, as well. Complicating factors, for sure.
I completely agree with the reality of the welfare system (in the US?). The same can be said about susbstance and alcohol abuse, and a whole range of conditions which impair positive parenting. The cycle of abuse is a real thing, and to be severely affected as a child, you don't have to just have a schizophrenic parent to experience it. There are plenty of totally screwed up unloved kids in the system that come from legally and clinically "sane"parents.

My point was to see this broader and not further stigmatize an already profoundly misunderstood condition that is slapped
with every kind of misconceptualized label out there. Family support and networks are key when raising kids, even if you're completely free of diagnosable mental illnesses. Parenting is a tough gig. No matter what.

I also know several schizophrenics close to my life who have benefitted from connecting with a good teacher, meditation and calming can help get bothersome symptoms to be more manageable, and meditation in general can also help a lot with many mental illnesses. A couple others not so much.

I'm asking some Dharma friends if they know of any sutras with discussion around illness and parenting .. It's an interesting topic, thanks for a stimulating discussion!!

:meditate:
Thanks for your thoughtful response. Yes, I was talking about the US child welfare system. Since I've been involved working in it, I have come to have a profound respect for the child welfare legal system, believe it or not. Anyhow, a bit off topic. Cheers!

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