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Penny Rayas, MFT
Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 395
Experience:  I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
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Thanks for your responses thus far, I want to clarify and understand

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Thanks for your responses thus far, I want to clarify and understand more following your last response.

You wrote..."I also wonder what her mother's diagnosis was mental health issues are inhereted." I have no evidence that her mother was ever diagnosed with anything, the "crazy" reference her and her siblings have made was more out of opinion than fact. HOWEVER, I am aware of some 'issues' that took place in the past with the mother that sound like some form of mental health and I have seen their mother in 'excited' states, where her actions were hours of rambling and defending her credibility (e.g. I could have gone to college, I was smart, I chose to have children). AND, both of my wife's younger brothers (men in their 20's and 30's now, still living at home), have been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

You also wrote "I am glad your wife sees a doctor, because maybe a good therapist will help her heal."...My wife is NOT seeing a doctor...she saw a doctor in 2007 while she was struggling to make the grade and make alliances/friends in Medical School...she is now a Primary Care physician, whom just took her first job in August 2012 and handed in her 90 day resignation 2 months ago, siting 'job too far from house'.

You wrote "Now I think you are also healing and I would like to ask if you getting any support from friends or relatives." I have a very strong support system. I myself grew up with just my mother and my brother, which has made me really embrace family, which resulted in me have some very close friends that consider family, in addition to my own family (including his wife and mother-in-law). I am actually very close with her family, but she has insisted (in so many ways) that 'we' stop so much communication as its 'none of their business', 'don't drag my family into this'.

So, two questions...
1) I've seen her brothers during some pretty bad episodes, and it is frightening to watch (both on meds and off). If my wife has been professionally diagnosed with dysthymia 6 years ago (and never told me about by the way), and she appears to show some traces of 'other' mental health disorders such as bp, and her two brothers (she has 3 siblings altogether) have been professionally diagnosed...should I continue to be more and more concerned in terms of my daughters safety (we are going through a legal divorce process)?

2) Are there any known methods that have shown to be helpful to convince someone like her to at least discuss her 'situation' with a MH professional without her having to admit, but more as a precaution considering her family history maybe.

I'm asking all this as I am looking for information to help me make the best decisions for my daughters.

Hello there and thanks for asking me to clarify and telling me more about your ex's mental health history. I understand how you would be so worried about your children. It is a hard place to be. Maybe you can talk with her and tell her that you are not telling the court about mental health issues. Tell her that you want what is best for your kids and you believe what is best for the kids is two parents that are going through a friendly divorce. If you come from a place of kindness and real caring in your heart tell her you want to help and have a possitive relationship she may listen to you. I think you have to mend the relationship before she can take any advice. I found out that when dealing with people with mental health diagnosis it only helps to point at the behavior and not the diagnosis. When convincing someone that they need help you can say something like " I worry that you are under a lot of stress". Maybe seeing someone would help you reduce your stress. To ease your fears I will tell you that schizophrenia starts when someone is in their 20's so it does not look like your ex will develop that. With Bi-polar what you have to look for is rapid talking and not sleeping. If you stay friends through the years you may be able to help her with your children when she needs it. Tell her that you will be here if she needs you. I think time heals and with any luck your ex will see a therapist. Maybe a good way to convince her is by example. If you see a therapist and she sees you being calm and centered she may want the same for herself. Most people see a therapist through their divorce. You can teach your kids to call you if they are in an unsafe situation.

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