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Vista, CA
A 26-year-old female asked:

What causes a person to commit child abuse/molestation? my moms father&brother sexually abused younger now suffers from schizophrenia/bipolar.

3 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Many things: Such a painful situation here. Many people who abuse or molest children were themselves abused . . . . Thus perpetuating a generational crime against younger (and less powerful) kids in the family. The key is to shift the victim to survivor through timely treatment, as was probably not done for the perpetrator. Sometimes when the child "tells, " she or he is not believed, either. Tragic.
Dr. Kathryn Seifert
Clinical Psychology 26 years experience
Even if incarcerated, Perpetrators should also be in treatment to prevent future abuse of children.
Nov 24, 2013
Dr. Lily Bhattacharya
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
People who have : been abused/molested tend to molest and abuse children/people. Schizophrenia or Bipolar disorder are two different kinds of mental illness and need medicine. They worsen with any stress and can get better with therapy and medicine. Seek a psychiatrist for medicine. Go find a psychologist for counseling and go to primary care if the wait for the psychiatrist is too long.
Dr. Carlos Barrios
Child Psychiatry 23 years experience
Many factors: Including risk from addiction to drugs by the parent, a single parent household/ absence of stable father figure, the child's own behavioral issues and others. One do the most challenging is that ⅓ of of abusers have been victims themselves eg The Cycle of Abuse. As individuals with such risk factors, recognition of one own tendencies to replay these, as early as possible with a therapist is key

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Last updated May 15, 2016

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