My son has mental illness. It not only affects him, but the whole family. What’s really sad is that during his younger years, I knew nothing about mental illness. Therefore he didn’t receive help. His way of coping was through drugs and alcohol. That ended up being a whole new set of problems both mentally and physically. At 17 my son came to me and told me he was depressed. I took him to his doctor who started him a variety of medications to see what would work. The medications either made him sick, tired or psychotic. He stopped his medications which led to more drugs and alcohol and suicidal thoughts. Suicide was an every day thought. At age 19 my son suffered a back injury. More problems were about to begin and his suicidal thoughts were getting worse. Within the last few years my son has been diagnosed with being bipolar, social anxieties, and something else which I can’t remember. Today at age 28 my son still suffers mentally and physically. His health is getting worse. It seems the doctors have given up therefore, so has my son. The good news is drugs and alcohol are a thing of his past.
My son has nothing but a place to stay in our home. He can’t get help financially because he lives at home. I can’t kick him out because there is no guarantee he would get financial help. I don’t want him to be one of the forgotten faces that no one cares about. I do my best as a parent but maybe not enough in other people’s eyes.
You might say mental illness runs in the family. I have another son who suffers and is on daily medication and lives a normal life. I also suffer and am also on daily medication. Social anxieties can sometimes be a problem for me. But I try hard to overcome them because I have a pretty important position where I work. Co-workers depend on me. Going to work and facing other daily ups and downs can actually be a sanctuary for me. Going home can sometimes be hard.