When Someone You Love is Mentally Ill

It’s difficult when you have a story to tell that has enlightened you, but it is so deeply personal that it is difficult to share. Ironically – those of us with mentally ill friends or family members need to share our stories and find support from each other. It is CRUCIAL, or we end up feeling alone and powerless. A very gray despair can take over. So please, if you are a parent, spouse or whatever of someone you suspect or know is mentally ill… reach out to me. Everyone should use a different name so they feel safe.

The stigma and shame of mental illness makes it so hard –  we want to protect our loved ones from that stigma so we remain silent. But WE need support. If you know of good resources for caregivers of those struggling with mental illness,  contact me. I would like to start an online support group for us. If there is enough interest I will eventually divide it into three groups – partners – parents of adults and parents of children. Or if one’s already exist – I will post links here.

People have NO idea how hard this is. Well meaning friends minimalize it in an effort to make you feel better “oh they have meds for that, she’ll be fine.” In the end, I have found, that the caregiver is the person who is judged, and the person who is ill ends up not receiving the help they need.  It’s time we join together and help one another. Are you with me?  – donandlolapt@gmail.com

 

How to Save the World?

My own invisible illness currently has be down for the count – not sure when I will be writing again. But wanted to share this lovely post – please read!!

Julia B. Hebner, author

“Start where you are.

Use what you have.

Do what you can.”

Arthur Ashe

Before I got knocked flat by the “yuppie flu” (now more respectfully, if still problematically, titled Systemic Exertional Intolerance Disorder) I was an ambitious person.

In high school I answered the call from a favorite AM Radio DJ to collect money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. I organized other kids to collect donations door-to-door and street-by-street. We covered the whole town. At the end of the day, our kitchen table was covered with neatly stacked bills and columns of coins. As a reward, participants took a chartered bus to Cleveland to a live concert with the popular DJ.

While I was pregnant with my third child I organized other volunteers in Scioto county, Ohio’s largest county, to collect signatures for a state-wide ballot initiative. Collecting enough signatures for a bottle bill turned out to be relatively…

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