Family Secrets: What My Son’s Diagnosis Revealed About Our Past

What is it like to learn mental illness may run in your family?

Author and science journalist  writes first hand about her experience bringing her son to the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and having to give a detailed psychiatric history to find out what may be affecting her child.

I didn’t, couldn’t look at her. I exhaled, thinking that at least now the worst was over.

“And your paternal grandfather?” she asked.

“I’m almost sure that Grandpa Michael got hit by a train,” I said, but it was as if someone else was speaking; I felt disconnected from the words and their possible meaning. “My mother said it was an accident.”

Dr. C stopped scribbling and looked me in the eye. “Has it ever occurred to you that your grandfather’s remaining on the railroad track may have been an intentional act?”

“No, never,” I said, stunned by her question. “I mean, not until you just asked me.”

Read the rest of her poignant account:


About UWF Center on Aging

The Center on Aging at the University of West Florida was established in the Fall of 2010 when the School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences faculty along with assistance from Sponsored Research submitted a grant to the State University System Board of Governors in support of aging initiatives for Northwest Florida. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of aging adults through the application of science to address challenges associated with aging and to promote healthy aging, with an emphasis on prevention. This will be accomplished through inter-disciplinary and inter-professional efforts of basic and applied research, consultation, and partnerships with community agencies. Education and training, direct services to the aging population, and public awareness and understanding of the contributions and needs of elders will be primary objectives.
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One Response to Family Secrets: What My Son’s Diagnosis Revealed About Our Past

  1. Shea Goolden says:

    I like this web blog so much, saved to favorites. “To hold a pen is to be at war.” by Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire.

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