Mental illness is not only hard on the person suffering with it, but it also affects the family. Parents, husbands, siblings, and so on are drawn into the saddened world of the person with mental illness. If the person refuses to admit his or her illness and get help, the people around him or her also suffer. Sometimes the person blames the people he or she love for his or her illness and he or she punishes them. I interviewed a friend who’s struggling with a daughter who won’t accept she has a mental illness.
Aimee: How do you believe an untreated mental illness can affect a person?
My Friend: I think that a mental illness that has gone on too long without some sort of treatment will only make the illness worse and prolong that person’s inability to realize that he or she is sick.
Aimee: How do you feel your daughter’s illness has affected you?
My Friend: It has made me very depressed, not knowing from day to day if I should walk on eggshells. I never know how she feels from one day to another.
Aimee: How have you helped your daughter with her mental illness?
My Friend: I have been through hell and back with my daughter. I’ve been with her in and out of serenity, through a hospital four times, from her trying to kill herself or just wanting attention. I have always been there for her whether she wants to believe it or not.
Aimee: What have you done to help your daughter?
My Friend: I have put her in many, many therapy sessions. She just gets angry and leaves because she thinks there is nothing wrong with her.
Aimee: How would you like your daughter to treat you?
My friend: I don’t know. I guess with respect and showing some sort of love would be a great start.
Aimee: Do you ever feel to blame for her illness?
My Friend: In a way, because of some problems of my own. I have my husband to keep me strong and remind me I’m not to blame. I have always been there no matter what. Nobody grows up in a perfect world.
Aimee: What advice would you give to parents dealing with a child who won’t get help for his or her illness?
My Friend: Take care of yourself; if you don’t, you will end up with so much pain in your life. I did my best by getting her help many times, but it didn’t help because she didn’t want it.
When your child becomes an adult, there isn’t much you can do for her. Especially if she won’t listen and thinks she is just fine.
Aimee: What do you do to keep your daughter’s illness from dragging you down?
My Friend: I have to move on and do what makes me happy, which is my husband, and focus on our relationship instead of her. Her mental illness has dragged me down for far too many years already.
As you can see my friend’s daughter’s mental illness has caused her great pain. She has suffered right along with her daughter and has been the victim of her daughter’s uncontrolled illness. If your parent is willing to help you, then turn to him or her with love and respect, and take his or her help. If you are unwilling to accept your illness, then no one can help you and no one is to blame but you. Recovery starts with acceptance and that starts with you. Don’t lash out at those you love. Turn to them for love and support. Let them help you find recovery.
My mom has always been very supportive of me. There were times I took my inner pain out on my mother and treated her badly when I shouldn’t have. I deeply regret those moments. My mom suffered with me and went out of her way to find me help. Unfortunately, my friend’s daughter refuses her help. If only she could see my friend’s willingness to support and help her, she, too, could find the road to recovery.
I am very grateful for my mom and her support. Because I accepted my illness and turned to my mom for help, I owe her a lot of gratitude for helping me reach recovery.
So if you to have a caring mom like my friend is to her daughter, turn to her and embrace her. Give her respect and accept her help. Despite the struggles with her daughter, my friend finds strength within the light.