Journal of Mental Health
Background: Fathers with psychosis have often been ignored by the research community. Aims: This project was designed to explore some of the potential issues concerning this group. Method: This study involves a qualitative investigation into the experiences of 10 white fathers who have a diagnosis of psychosis (schizophrenia, schizoaffective or other psychotic-type disorder). The collected data was analysed by means of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Results: This study found that psychosis may directly and indirectly undermine the father-child relationship and the work of parenting. The fear of one's children inheriting psychosis is a concern amongst this group. In the process of fulfilling the role of fatherhood, men with psychosis benefit from a sense of pride in the father role, a sense of purpose to one's life, a feeling of pleasure in the creation and development of life, and motivation to change for the better. Conclusions: Treatment and care programmes need to be sensitive to the effects of fatherhood on psychosis and the effects of a father's psychosis on the mental health of his family. Extra support during the first months of fatherhood, parenting programmes and systemic approaches might help fathers with psychosis and their families. (Author abstract)
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