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Posts Tagged ‘acceptance’

As of this week my blogs will be posted on our website as our homepage: hopeforhurtingparents.com  We appreciate yourfragile1 patience as my dear husband re-builds the site. It’s gonna be great!

When your child is diagnosed with a mental illness it can feel overwhelming. You may become depressed and fearful not knowing what to expect or how to respond. I did. A stranger to the world of mental health, it was all foreign to me. If that describes you, read my last four blogs. They’re all about mental illness. They’ll help educate you, strengthen you and lessen your fears. In today’s blog I’m going to share 3 things I wish someone had told me when I first learned of my daughter’s mental health challenges. I think they’ll help you.

 

1. Your child is still the same person. (more…)

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SurrenderWhen someone you love is diagnosed with a mental illness (major depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, PTSD, OCD) something very ugly tends to rear its head. I call it the two-headed monster of stigma and shame. It finds life from those who don’t understand because they’re either uninformed or misinformed. When it’s directed at your son or daughter the hurt runs deep. You feel protective. Defensive. But maybe you felt this way toward them yourself.

You need to hear these things:

  • Don’t believe your child’s value in this world is diminished because of their mental illness. (more…)

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Your child has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. You want to understand what this really means. What will their life look like now? Don’t despair. It’s still possible for them to have a bipolarfulfilling life. This is part two in a series on mental illness. My information is from The National Alliance on Mental Illness, nami.org  Refer to my last blog (May 10th) for a further introduction to the topic of mental illness.

Bipolar Disorder is also known as manic depression. A mood disorder, it affects nearly 6 million adults in the U.S. Characterized by extreme shifts in mood, energy, and functioning, people experience alternating episodes of mania (severe highs), depression (severe lows), and mixed states which contain elements of both high and low experiences.

These episodes may last for days, weeks, or even months, and are often separated by periods of fairly normal moods. A chronic condition with recurring episodes, bipolar often begin in adolescence or early adulthood. If your child has been diagnosed, remember – it does NOT mean they’re sentenced to a life of misery. Good treatment is available from many professionals who are continually improving their understanding of this mental health issue. (more…)

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come1You’ve been a good, loving, conscientious parent. You did the best you could. You thought you did it all right, you even took your child to church so they would believe in God and know right from wrong. You provided everything you thought was necessary for them to have a great life. But, somehow, you find yourself facing terribly painful situations with them that you never saw coming and you beat yourself up about it. You’re so hard on yourself, convinced it’s all your fault.

Your son or daughter has developed an addiction. They smoke pot every day. They need alcohol to function. They’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness (brain disorder) and either refuse treatment or can’t find the right medications. They’ve attempted suicide and been hopeless many times. Your daughter’s pregnant, or your son (more…)

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Does your son or daughter have a sexual addiction? Do they go from one promiscuous relationship (with the same-sex or the beauty2opposite sex) to another? Are they irresistibly drawn to pornography in various forms? Have these behaviors become a pattern? If so, you need to know about Bethesda Workshops in Nashville, Tennessee.

Their mission is to provide a place for healing for those damaged by pornography and other forms of sexual addiction; and to provide training for professionals who work with sex addicts and their loved ones. They offer clinical intensive workshops with the best strategies based on grace-based Christian principles.

What sets them apart? (more…)

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MaldivesTen years ago my daughter was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She was eighteen. I was clueless. A few years ago I attended a lecture on the subject at a local college campus. The speaker was Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, one of the leading experts in the field. Author of An Unquiet Mind, she knows her stuff. Jamison was diagnosed with bipolar in high school. She fought against it for years.

Her comments will give you a better understanding and more compassion toward your loved one. These are my notes from her lecture. (Part 1 of her talk was the subject of my last blog on 2/4/15. It focused on the reasons bipolar sufferers resist or stop taking medication.)

Q & A:
1. Words of hope given to a twelve-year-old diagnosed at age eight. “There’s no end of hope to offer you. (more…)

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Has your child been diagnosed with bipolar disorder? My daughter was. Have you struggled to understand? I did. A few years ago I had the privilege of attending a lecture of one of the leading experts in the field,  Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison. She suffers with this brain disorder herself, so she really knows what she’s talking about. She wrote the book An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness, about her experiences. Here are a few highlights.isolated

One of the biggest challenges is that people who struggle with bipolar resist or stop taking medication.
It’s hard for doctors and loved ones to understand why patients do this. Some of the common reasons are:

– Mania is an intoxicating state. Exhilarating. Being on medication cuts into that.

– Side effects of medication can seem intolerable.

– Mania destroys the basis of rational thought. While it brings some pleasure, it also brings untold suffering (the things you do/choices you make when in this state. Often, you don’t even know or remember what happened. You wonder if you will ever be free of the cycles – mania and severe, often debilitating depression. When will it happen again? You never know.

– They affect memory and coordination.

– It’s hard to accept you have a disease and must be a patient for the rest of your life. Pride is involved. Even mild mania is quite alluring. Can be compared to how cocaine makes you feel, only the mania does a hundred times more; wild highs. And you don’t forget how you felt. So this becomes an illness you don’t want to give up. You deny you have an incurable disease.

There’s a great sense of loss and the very real chance of losing your life if untreated. You must accept this. It’s a difficult process. It took Jamison all through high school, college, 2 yrs of grad school and into her second year as a professor of psychiatry at John’s Hopkins Medical Center to finally accept it.

brokenIn the lows of suicidal depression everything feels dull, lifeless, no joy, can’t feel anything, or think clearly or feel loving.

One of the most powerful things anyone ever said to her was from one of her fellow professors,
“Keep taking your meds; learn from your experience; teach from it and write from it.”

People who are treated and do well tend to keep quiet about their experiences. They don’t want anyone to know. Pride stops them. So people have an unrealistic view about bipolar. Being treated by a great psychiatrist and psychotherapist are crucial. Find ones you know will be honest with you, but offer hope. Tough but kind. Get second opinions if you can afford it. If you don’t have a good connection with the one you’re seeing, find someone else. Not all psychiatrists are good in this area.

After she was in recovery a long time she always missed her highs in mania. But she came to realize that she must choose between life and death. Bipolar is that serious.

In my next blog on Sunday, February 8th, I’ll share more insights and words of hope from Dr. Jamison . If you need a little more hope, it may help.

God, we need fresh hope. We need more understanding. More compassion. Please help us. Only You can. We’re relying onhope27 You.

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