Mental illness does not, generally, cause family estrangement. Mental illness does not necessarily make someone not a nice person. They can be hard to deal with at times, like my father in law especially at the end (hallucinations, conspiracy theories, not wanting treatment or help), but it did not make him a not nice person. During the moments when his illness did not affect him totally, he was a nice, gentle and kind man. No malice in his heart, although perhaps he had a lack of tact sometimes
My grandmother was not a nice person. As far as I have experienced and read, my mother is not a nice person. All her fantasies involving me involve me failing somehow in life
Sorry, not a nice person. Also not a person that even if she had a mental illness, is a nice person. Like I said, relationships and our responses to them can be controlled. We are still "us" inside, not our mental illness. And it's not a word I am ashamed of, it's been an easily controlled condition. I could have had heart disease, asthma, cancer, cleft pallet, no arms or legs, been paralyzed, MS, peanut allergies, lactose intolerant (or allergic to chocolate LOL) and on and on. I have something that requires me to take a pill a day. Big friggin deal. I don't die or go insane if I don't take it, I feel a bit blue. It's not pleasant, but it's not life threatening either. Course in my mother's world, it is something to hold over me!! Yet, she thinks I would ever have a personal discussion again. I don't choose to associate with people that are that negative. I mean that's my choice, and I will use that choice.
Mental illness may be an aggravation to family estrangement however, or a complication if you will. Especially if one is not familiar with the things that can go on, or what the responses are, and more possibly if someone does not get help or treatment.