Sometimes couples meet and fall in love and don't realize that a partner is taking medication for a mental illness until they are living together or engaged. When a partner discovers the truth, his or her fears may be assuaged by the fact that the other person is on medication and takes it regularly.
But what happens when the couple marries and has a child, and then the spouse with the mental illness, such as bipolar disorder or severe depression, stops taking the medication? Sometimes divorce happens and oftentimes, the parent with the mental illness is restricted to supervised visitation with the child.
Parent's Mental Illness Can Affect Children
How a parent's mental illness affects children depends on various factors. For example, the illness is more likely to have deleterious effects when the child is young. Other factors need to be examined as well. For example, what is the severity of the parent's illness, how does the illness affect the parent's positive parenting, and does the parent show real interest in the child? These are all important considerations.