IN Ireland we have a long and honoured tradition of novelists recalling dreadful childhoods dominated by poverty, alcoholic fathers and depressed mothers.
Today, rather than wait until middle age to write the novel, the consequences of such a background manifest themselves earlier.
We are told that the children of mothers with serious psychological problems can be obese by the time they have reached the age of three. This is confirmation once again of our lack of understanding of mental illness and our denial of the avoidable trans-generational consequences.
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