I’m wrapping up the Mental Illness series for loved ones with my story. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the strong support of my mom and my husband.
I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again… My mom is my rock and my husband is my anchor. I can easily hold onto my mom when things get rough. She is steady, understanding and pretty tough. My husband reels me back in when I’m starting to get out there. He’s dependable, generous, and capable.
Last week I started a four part series on mental illness. Rather than focus on the person with a mental illness, I’ve chosen to focus on the families and friends or rather, the support team. As a person with a mental illness, I’ve been extremely lucky to have a few amazing people in my life.
I’m going to give my mom and husband a shout out. My mom is my rock – never moving, always there to cling to when times get rough. My husband is my anchor, keeping me from getting too “out there.” I am very aware that I can be a challenge for them. I have a crazy sleep schedule. I go from be very friendly to paranoid. I can rotate from crying to aggression to laughing to crying again in the space of 30 minutes. While those things are hard on me, they are just as hard on my loved ones.
Figuring out what to say to someone with ANY disease is difficult. Some diseases are even harder. Say the wrong thing and you can hurt someone you care a great deal about it. The fact that you are taking the time to research how to deal with a loved one’s mental illness says a great deal about you.
There are a number of statements that are ignorant, careless and just plain cruel. I’ve narrowed the list to ten of the most common. After the negative list is a positive list.
This post is the first of a four-part series for family members of those with a mental illness. I was diagnosed with a mental illness when I was 15 years old which meant years of therapy, doctors and research. I understand my illnesses but recently I’ve had to learn how to cope with another’s mental illnesses.
You will find a list of ways you can can support a loved-one with a mental illness including things you should avoid doing.
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