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Title: Childhood Parental Mental Illness: Living with Fear and Mistrust
Contributor(s): Murphy, Gillian (author); Peters, Kathleen (author); Wilkes, Lesley (author); Jackson, Debra  (author)
Publication Date: 2015
DOI: 10.3109/01612840.2014.971385
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Abstract: This paper presents one major theme of findings from a doctorate study. The study used a narrative enquiry approach, to gather parenting narratives of adult children of parents with mental illness. A Partnership Model for a Reflexive Narrative for Participant and Researcher (Partnership Model) was used to invite participants into the study, while encouraging a space for reflection for both the adult children and researcher. In total, 13 adult children participants constructed their narratives of living with childhood parental mental illness, alongside their current parenting role. Their stories reflected childhood experiences of fear and emergence of mistrust of others, particularly their parent with mental illness. For some participants, fear and mistrust continued into adulthood. Many adult children reported their childhood experiences of feeling lonely and isolated. They felt unable to disclose their experiences of parental mental illness to others. In addition, participants were unable to access information about their parent's condition, leaving them feeling unprepared and unskilled, despite their childhood desire to help their parent. This furthermore, compounded their sense of fear and isolation. Early identification of children and families experiencing mental illness is important to facilitate dialogue, psychoeducation and support. Social and health professionals have an important opportunity to enhance the social integration and support for families experiencing parental mental illness, to reduce long-standing fear, isolation and mistrust.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 36(4), p. 294-299
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 0161-2840
Field of Research (FOR): 111005 Mental Health Nursing
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 920209 Mental Health Services
920210 Nursing
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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