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Mother with Mental Illness, What About the Kids?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jun 12, 2018

Question

My son married one of my relatives. She is my cousin. As she lived in a village far away I didn’t know she was mentally sick. After marriage, she showed her mental sickness by her horrible torturing behavior. Now with 2 kids, she is a horrible torturing person. Their kids are weak. She doesn’t cook, fights, and sometimes run away from home, my son’s life is a living hell. How to deal with her in an Islamic way?

Counselor

Answer


In this counseling answer:

“The smooth important thing, to begin with, is supporting her to get some help; both physical in terms of medication if she is agreeable to this as well as psychological so that she can be supported to explore ways to deal with her distressing symptoms.If you can support her in finding this help she will also feel positive and supported by you which on its own can be a big help in recovering from mental illness, or at least managing it successfully.”


As-salamu alaikum,

It is can be very distressing for parents when they realize that their child has married a person who is not making them happy and is, in fact, making things difficult for him. The fact he also has children and they are suffering makes it even worse.

There are a few things you can implement to try and make things a little easier for all involved, in sha Allah.

Firstly, to make it easier for you to deal with the situation and deal with it in the most rational and calm way, remember that she has a serious mental illness. Her inappropriate behavior may, therefore, most likely be a result of this. She may also not even realize how disturbing her behavior is. She might, therefore, benefit from being told that it’s not ok, or at least offering her support in managing her behavior.


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It is also possible she is dealing with hallucinations, delusions, and depression to name a few symptoms which can understandably cause people to have difficulties with others and potentially be abusive. The behavior is not acceptable, but if she has a mental illness and is not receiving any support she will have little idea about how to manage her symptoms. As the close to her, your son and her children will, unfortunately, face the consequences.

Therefore, the smooth important thing, to begin with, is supporting her to get some help; both physical in terms of medication if she is agreeable to this as well as psychological so that she can be supported to explore ways to deal with her distressing symptoms.

If you can support her in finding this help she will also feel positive and supported by you which on its own can be a big help in recovering from mental illness, or at least managing it successfully. This will then indirectly improve situations at home with your son and grandchildren as her behavior will improve considerably once she is receiving help for her illness.

Aside from this, the situation will be very unstable for the children and whilst you can’t directly change her behavior, you can be the one to provide them with that stability. Make sure to see them often and offer a supportive caring environment for them.

You may even ask if they could come and stay with you for the weekend every now and again so they can have a break from their mother’s behavior. This way you can be confident that they have some good role modes in their life and the impact of living with the difficulties faced with their mother will be lessened.

May Allah grant her cure and make things easier for you, your son and grandchildren.

 

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Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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My Mother Hates My Wife




About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)

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