• Daughters of Madness: Growing Up and Older with a Mentally Ill Mother by Susan Nathiel
  • Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace by Ayelet Waldman
  • Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry by Bebe Moore Campbell


Protective Services:

  • Child Protective Services-24 hr. hotline-Alameda County 800-259-1800
  • Adult Protective Services- 24 hr hotline – Alameda County 866-225-5277

Support Group:
Parents with Mental Health Challenges. Fremont, CA. Every Third Tuesday.

Positive Factors:

Some people site positive factors as being part of growing up with a mentally ill mother.

  • Independence
  • Resilience
  • Compassion
  • Empathy
  • Tolerance/Understanding
  • Appreciation of and balance of life
  • Becoming an advocate

Protective Factors:

The following can be protective factors for children with mentally ill parents.

  • Knowledge that their parent(s) is ill and that they are not to blame
  • Help and support from family members and friends
  • A stable home environment
  • Psychotherapy for the child and the parent(s). The ill parent working towards recovery
  • A sense of being loved by the ill parent
  • Positive self esteem
  • Resiliency – the ability to bounce back after a problem
  • Inner strength and good coping skills in the child
  • A strong relationship with a healthy adult
  • Friendships, positive peer relationships
  • Having someone to talk to
  • Interest in and success at school
  • Healthy interests outside the home for the child
  • Help from outside the family to improve the family environment (for example, marital psychotherapy or parenting classes)