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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum

Re: Genealogy and Mental Illnesses in the family


Because mental illness comes with much stigma, shame and denial in the African American community, we often donít discuss this devastating illness, therefore, not receiving the support and help for the loved one suffering and the caregivers.

My daughter was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 16. She is the 4th generation with some form of mental illness. Schizophrenia, bi-polar, learning disabilities, alcohol, sexual, and street drugs addictions are rampant on that family line.

On another line, dementia is a third generational problem. Very little discussion within the family about this illness.

Genealogy and my own personal experiences with schizophrenia and Alzheimerís disease has helped me to understand that these diseases are brain disorders and that there might me a genetic connection. Researchers are interest in investigating my family because we are consider a "cluster" family. The family says there are no "crazy" people in our family and refuse to participate. My husband, daughter, and I have participated in hope that one day, a cure may be found.

"Remembering Their Names"

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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