Resources for children of all ages of mentally ill parents

Until recently, the focus has been on an adult daughter or son of a parent or parents with a mental illness. This is changing. So is the terminology from the adult child of the mentally ill parent to the child of a parent with a mental illness.

Since well over 50% of people who have serious mental illness are parents, bringing this to the public's attention to the young sons and daughters is long overdue. Both the parents and the children need much support during these difficult times, not something that has been focused on before.


1. Children of Parents with a Mental Illness

2. Helping the Child

3. For Grandparents of grandchildren whose parents have a mental illness

4. National Network of Adult and Adolescent Children Who Have a Mentally Ill Parent/s

5. COMIC-Children of Mentally Ill Consumers

6. COPMI: Children of Parents with a Mental Illness

7. Call to Help Children of a Mentally Ill Parent.


8.  Family Management Crisis Plan

9. The Forgotten People (Children of a Parent with a Mental Illness)

10. Raised on Madness

11. How should a parent with a mental illness explain it to their children

        a. Toddlers and pre-school

        b.  Teenagers 

12. When your parent has a mental illness

13. Care plan for kids and young people for when their parent is in crisis

14. Adult Children of the Mentally Ill

15. When a parent is depressed.....What kids wants to know

16. When a parent has a psychotic experience......What kids want to know.


17.  Facing the difficulties of growing up with a mentally ill parent



Nathiel, S. (2007). Daughters of madness: Growing up and older with a mentally ill mother. Greenwood Publishing Group.

Sobkiewicz, T (1994). Our special Mom and Our special Dad. Children of Mentally Ill Parents. P.O. Box 7272, Pittsburg, PA 15213

Sherman, M.D., & Sherman, D.M. (2006). I’m not alone: A teen’s guide to living with a parent who has a mental illness. Edina, MN: Beaver’s Pond Press. 

Children of a Parent With Depression

Andrews, B. (2002). Why are you so sad? A child’s book about parental depression. New York: Magination Press.

Children of a Parent with Schizophrenia

Kotulski, Tina. Saving Millie: A Daughter's Story of Surviving Her Mother's Schizophrenia

Holley, T.E. (1997). My mother’s keeper: A daughter’s memoir of growing up in the shadow of
schizophrenia. New York: William Morrow & Co.

Fensham, E. (2005). Helicopter man. Bloomsbury USA (ages 5-12) [about a dad who has schizophrenia]

Brown, M.J., & Roberts, D.P. (2000). Growing up with a schizophrenic mother. McFarland & Company.

Adult child of A Narcissistic Parent(s)

Brown, Nina W. Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grownup's Guide to Getting Over Narcissistic Parents. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publishers, Inc., 2001.

Donaldson-Pressman, Stephanie, Robert M. Pressman. The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment. San Francisco: Josey-Bass Publishers, 1997.

Adult child of a Borderline Parent

Roth, Kimberlee and Freda B. Friedman. Surviving a Borderline Parent: How to Heal Your Childhood  Wounds & Build Trust

Child of a Borderline Parent

Lawson, Christine Ann, Ph.D. and Jason Aronson. Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship

Dealing with this mental illness within a family calls for wise and firm boundaries. This book offers practical insights and instruction where Stop Walking on Eggshells only touches on lightly. The two books together make an awesome pair.

This book is quoted at length in the workbook for Stop Walking on Eggshells.

It is not only descriptive of the four types of these mothers but also prescriptive in how to relate with each type within healthy boundaries.

Rashkin, Rachel MS. An Umbrella for Alex

It tells the story of how a young boy learns to understand and cope with his mother’s BPD illness.