How did you feel when your loved one was diagnosed with a severe mental illness such as borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder I, or schizophrenia? Did your entire worldview change? Were you depressed or anxious? If so, you are certainly not alone. I receive multiple emails and phone calls from parents, family members, or caregivers of individuals suffering from a severe or untreated mental illness. These contacts are not easy for me to hear, they are disturbing. But for that parent, family member, or caregiver, the situation has surpassed disturbance and become trauma.
I recently had a conversation with a representative of Bupa, a United Kingdom, Edinburgh based healthcare service. Our discussion was about caregivers and the challenges they face. They offered to write an article for Caregivers, Family, & Friends, and I said “yes.” Bupa offers us tips below on how to care for ourselves as caretakers of individuals who are ill.
“Bupa is an international healthcare group, we serve over 14-million customers in more than 190 countries. We offer personal and company-financed health insurance and medical subscription products, run hospitals, provide workplace health services, home healthcare, health assessments and chronic disease management services. We are also an international provider of nursing and residential care for elderly people.”
When have you fallen apart in your life? Was it when the family couldn’t get along? Was it when your divorce happened? Was it a mental health diagnosis? Was it job loss? Whatever the case, falling apart requires that we learn how to pick up the pieces of our soul and move forward. We may never move forward in total healing, but the right tools can push us in a better direction.
Do you know what an “emotional hangover” is? I “coined” this term in my personal life some years ago and defined it as:
being similar to a typical hangover, you remember certain details from the day before, you might feel guilty (even if you don’t have a real reason), your body may feel stressed or tired, and you would rather do nothing but rest. You feel emotionally drained, unenthusiastic about the day, sluggish, and depleted.
For most of us, we’ve had a few rainy days, but for the remainder of society, rainy days happen all the time. A lot of people tend to believe that depression is a passing emotion, something that cannot destroy the pace of one’s life. Families often make depression taboo and refuse to acknowledge it or discuss it. The use of medication further stigmatizes families and causes barriers for open discussion. For fear of appearing “helpless” or “needy,” individuals suffer in silence, alone until one day their illness becomes so apparent that it’s almost impossible to hide.
Are you in a relationship, a relationship of any kind, that tends to perplex you, hurt you, or make you feel confused? If so, you are not alone. Relationships are the most time consuming and perplexing experiences of life. It’s difficult to maintain certain relationships and difficult to sustain from them. Relationships are apart of who we are, but unfortunately, we are so interconnected to them we allow them to destroy us.
Depression is one of those health conditions that usurps every part of a suffering individual’s life. Employment, interpersonal relationships responsibilities, motivation, future goals, level of patience, etc. are all affected by depressions sting. As I described in a previous article, depression clouds the sufferers lens so that everything appears nebulous.