Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘depression’

be still3 - CopyHas your son or daughter has been diagnosed with a mental health issue? Major depression, obsessive compulsive, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia (among other disorders) are robbing millions of their quality of life. This is part one of a three part series highlighting information about the major mental illnesses, also called brain disorders.

My information is from The National Alliance on Mental Illness (nami.org) the major source of information, education, advocacy, and support for individuals and their families affected by this challenge.

 

Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character, or poor upbringing. They are medical conditions that men, women, and sometimes even children, have no control over, like diabetes or cancer. These disorders diminish their ability to function and cope with the usual demands of life. The result is a huge ripple effect on family members and society in general. Compassion, understanding and support is needed.

In this addresses major depression. If you love someone who suffers from this, be encouraged. As the non-profit To Write Love on her Arms (twloha.com) says, “There is help and Hope is real”.

One of the best things you as a parent can do is to educate yourself as much as you can. It helped me. (more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Anger. A strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or irritation; frustration or exasperation toward someone or something you communication2have no control over. Gee, that definition describes what we often feel as parents of rebellious children, doesn’t it? We have no control over our adult children (teens can be very difficult, too – any age can).

You know what it feels like. It wells up within you. Some of us are more comfortable expressing our anger than others. I’m one of the ‘others’ (more…)

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

crying_eyeHope. What is that to you as the parent of an addict, self-injurer, gay, mentally ill or incarcerated child? In the past it was my desire to have things “work out”, to have my prayers answered, to see my dreams fulfilled, to have my daughter healed, whole and healthy in every way.

We hope our child will:

Stop abusing alcohol or drugs.

No longer be drawn to the same-sex.

Learn to cope without harming themselves. (more…)

Read Full Post »

It’s the beginning of Advent. For many parents hearts are heavy, smiles are forced, there will be no “merry” in their holiday single tree-569season. Is that you? Do you ache over your son or daughter’s hurts, habits and hang-ups? Do their destructive behaviors and choices destroy your peace of mind, sapping you of any “joy to the world”? Are you distracted, burdened and confused? Does it seem like there’s less and less hope to hold onto?

If you answered in the affirmative to any of these questions you’re not alone. (more…)

Read Full Post »

pray1Are you a parent in pain? Be honest–do you feel thankful? In my darkest days, I didn’t.

Does the mention of the word “thankful” make you want to run and hide? When your heart’s been broken by your beloved son or daughter the last thing you feel like doing is being thankful. If they’re incarcerated, have AIDS, are slowly killing themselves with alcohol or drugs (or maybe an eating disorder), suffer with a mental illness, threaten suicide repeatedly, self-injure continually but refuse help, you want the world to go away. I know. I’ve felt that way, especially when my daughter wasn’t doing well close to Thanksgiving.

But wait – there’s so much to be thankful for, EVEN when you’re in pain because of your child’s choices, behaviors and struggles. You may say, as  I once did, “Shut up and don’t talk to me. It ain’t happening. How can I? There’s nothing to be thankful for! ”

I know,  I know . . . it’s so easy to get stuck (more…)

Read Full Post »

I remember when I felt very discouraged and depressed about my daughter. At nineteen-years-old she was addicted to alcohol and drugs, had a 038brain disorder (mental illness) and a serious problem with cutting. The strain of her destructive choices and behaviors was getting to me. I felt like I was stuck in a drought, languishing in a heat wave with no end in sight.

Is the heat chipping away at your confidence and trust, causing you to give in to worry and fear for your son or daughter? Do you wonder if they’ll ever be okay?  Will you ever have a normal life or a loving relationship with them? Have you lost count how many times they’ve been arrested, gone to rehab or relapsed? Have you forgotten how many times they’ve been hospitalized or in the psych ward?

There have been so many arguments. So much chaos. So much despair. Their lives appear to be drying up and fading away.

It may feel like yours is, too. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: