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Mental Health

Mother`s Abandonment

06/30/2008

Question:

I am a single father of a 14 yo girl. I have custody of our daughter. Her mother pays little attention to her and has recently failed to pay child support. She has another child from another marriage and does not have custody of that child either. She is out running around every night, in a car that is not legal, and uninsured, with traffic arrest warrants, and no vaild drivers license. She ignores paying her bills and is in the middle of bankruptcy. She does pay child support on her other child, but only because the courts garnish her wages. Her child support is $100 for our child and $139 for the other child... My question is this: What type of disorder would it be for a person to NOT want to spend time or money on their children while constantly seeking social activities and ignoring the basic responsibilties of life? This troubles me greatly, and it has only gotten worse.

Answer:

Thank you for your e-mail. The question is not an easy one.

You deserve credit for being available to your daughter and caring about her. It is true that a variety of psychiatric conditions can feature some of the concerns that you listed about your daughter’s mother. Some of them may or may not respond to treatment. At the same time, these behaviors can occur without a person having a clear psychiatric condition.

It may be worthwhile to investigate mental health services in your area. You can begin within your insurance plan. If you lack insurance, you can investigate community mental health centers.

Good luck.

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Response by:

Ram Chandran  Kalyanam, MD Ram Chandran Kalyanam, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University