Good news for those with parents and love ones with mental illness


I believe that Jesus doesn’t mention mental illness in the New Testament but I believe it is implicit when he states that HIS 2 commandments of Loving God above all else and others as yourself. At some point HE states that he will bring enmity in families and as we all know that many parents and siblings suffer from these mental problems. It may explain why we can’t share fully or Catholic Faith with them since they may not be prepared or unable to comprehend Our Faith fully. What is your thoughts on this?



Are you referring to sociopaths and psychopaths? Your theory would have sustenance if you can prove that Christ weren’t simply referring to families in general.

Persons with mental illnesses aren’t the only ones who can upset the household. All who are tainted with sin may contribute to the destruction of the family, and by extension, mankind.


Are you thinking of any specific mental illnesses? Many people with mental illnesses do well on medications and can fully participate in the faith life of being a Catholic.


When Jesus said “I have come to bring a sword, not peace”, he spoke of it in the context of family.

I believe it means that if one is strong and loyal in the Catholic faith and another family member is not, there may be strife. I remember observing that there was ridicule among relatives who thought that one was being “too religious”.

With the help of the grace of the Lord the faithful one needs to strive to keep his/her peace in the midst of such conflict.

Sometimes this happens, over the years, between husband and wife, or mother and child. The unity of the faith is no longer there, and the believer needs to be loving, but not back down on their faith.

This is a suffering that can strengthen the spiritual “muscle” of the believer, and help him to become a good example.


Straight forward, good answer. I experienced plenty of ridicule as the only Catholic in my family. Some folks simply ignored me, but others were directly hostile. People are left with making choices and the basic one of choosing between God and family is a huge one. Over the years several folks converted, but it took lots of time and prayer. (Not to leave out patience and hope.)

And there will always be those who never see the light and become a source of constant ridicule and division. That is our challenge.


I don’t get it. Not believing in the Catholic faith is a mental illness? :confused:



Glad to hear that over the years several converted after much time and prayer!




my grandparents on my dad’s side of the family were married in the Catholic Church but there was a big argument over the burial of a baby that was stillborn, or some issue very close to this. And, it involved an argument with a parish priest, perhaps the pastor.

As a result, my grandmother reverted or converted to be a Jehovah’s Witness and I don’t think my grandfather belonged to any church. There didn’t seem to be much compassion towards them by the priest when the baby was stillborn.

Then, it doesn’t make sense, but some of their children grew up Catholic but some (of the 7) were JW or evangelical. To me, the crucial insight was that when my dad died, when I was nine, none of the remaining siblings on either side of the family with any religious allegiance were very “Christian” in the Old- and New-Testament sense of taking care of widows (my mom) and a fatherless boy (me). They all acted like they simply had their own lives to live and their own children to raise.

In the late '50s and early '60s, only one or two of them extended any generosity towards me whatsoever, to buy me a hot dog or a coke. Now, this is relevant because I think my mom had some form of personality disorder, and there were vivid flashbacks in her life of earlier sibling rivalry. So, I suffered considerably from neglect, in my opinion. Both their prior Catholic upbringing and their ongoing attachment to Catholicism (as the case may have been) had very little direct benefit to me.

Read the letter of James see what some aspects of Christian family living should be like. I got more attention, moral and social support, and, yes, assistance from perfect strangers. I could only and did rely on my catholic school education to learn right from wrong (which is why I didn’t know all that much about right from wrong). But, God was with me then and throughout my life. God has brought me through it, one daily miracle after another. It was like a reality version of Frogger, evading one alligator after another. I sometimes feel God has almost been too good to me, despite all the social stress.


Thank you for sharing your story. I’m glad things turned out well for you at the end. I especially liked what you said about discovering personality disorders within your family. Also one usually doesn’t know one was neglected until later in life when one has more time for reflection. :slight_smile:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit