Involuntary commitment. What comes to mind when you hear this word? Chaos and confusion? Fear and pandemonium? Loss and grief? For many parents, having to commit your child to a hospital against their will is something that doesn’t fit into the schema of adults. The thought, the action is unfathomable. How could a child, someone who is barely familiar with the operations of life, be so out of control that a hospital would have to be contacted for help? The experience is heart wrenching for many loving and caring families.
Have you ever had to face the fact that perhaps your loved one or close friend needed to be hospitalized? Was their illness so bad and jeopardizing his or her safety that you considered discussing the need to have the person “sign themselves in?” If so, join the millions of other individuals and families who have had to face this very difficult and emotionally draining situation.
Did you know that your parenting style can determine the emotional and psychological well-being of your child? Being the parent of a child has to be one of the most difficult jobs in the world. The only thing lacking from a parent child relationship is payroll. A child has so many needs, desires, and milestones to achieve in life. It’s the parent who bears the burden until the child becomes mature enough to seek out their own wishes in this life. But despite the challenges that come with parenting, it is also perhaps one of the most rewarding (most of the time) jobs in the world.
Sadly, many parents are unaware of the power that they hold over their children. These types of parents lack the educational, emotional, and mental abilities to properly raise their children and equip them for the world. These parents not only lack skills and emotional intelligence, but also mental stability. Some parents who are detrimental to their children’s overall development also struggle with their own mental health problems and substance abuse/dependency. In such cases they are viewed by mental health professionals as victims themselves. Parents who are struggling with their own mental and emotional well-being cannot (and often times will not) cater to the needs of their children in the areas of academics, emotional well-being, psychological health, and social abilities. Children who are neglected and abused at the hands of unstable parents often end up in foster homes, residential treatment facilities, detention centers or juvenile jails, or incarcerated for long periods of time. Children who are victims of victims often become prostitutes, drug addicts, sociopaths, criminals, psychiatric patients, or emotional messes. As a result, it becomes absolutely necessary for mental health professionals, psychiatrists, social workers, probation officers, police, and others to get involved and remain involved. These families are often titled “dysfunctional families.” Where the dysfunction began is difficult to pinpoint because in some …
Firstly, I would like to start by thanking the many families who participated in Personal Stories Week this year. So many asked to participate that I had to push some stories to August 2015. Your stories of bravery, triumph, struggle, pain, denial, hope, loss of hope, and perpetual challenges have not only inspired us, but perhaps has made us more grateful for the beautiful aspects of life that so many tend to take for granted.
Are you the parent of or know someone who is the parent of an adult child with schizophrenia or Schizoaffective disorder? How did you respond to that diagnosis? What if your son or daughter was a stellar student with gifted abilities and one day lost her hope for a bright future because of a chronic mental health condition? The stress and strain that you would feel might almost take all the life in your soul. In fact, it might cause you to question why. I’m sure Sharon (seen on the right) has been through this process many times in her life.
How would you feel if you could stay home, open your computer or laptop, and have a therapy session? What about if your therapist offered to speak with you over Skype or some other online platform? Would you feel like a fish out of water or would you very much like to try that experience? What about if your anxiety was so bad that you couldn’t leave your home? For many people suffering from agoraphobia (fear of open places/spaces), panic disorders (panic attacks), or generalized anxiety disorder (anxiety triggered by worry of multiple things), it’s like heaven on earth to do therapy at home in one’s pajamas.
Suicide. Sometimes that word alone is enough to provoke a sea of emotions in many of us. Most of us have experienced the sting of suicide either in our personal lives or through the lives of others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide by suffocation occurs in about 9,913 cases in the U.S. About 19,990 suicides occur at the hands of a firearm and 6,564 suicides occur by poisoning. In 2011, about 39,518 suicides were reported by the CDC, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death. That’s way too many lives being lost to suicide. What are we missing?
Are you the parent of a child, adolescent, or adult child with severe mental illness? How do you feel right now? Tired? Lonely? Discouraged? Or even stronger? Some parents say that they are struggling every single day of their lives with the reality that their child, teen, or adult child is suffering from both their own illness and stigma. Other parents say they are not as discouraged as they were before they found out what their child actually struggled with. No matter how you have chosen to view your situation, I’m sure you can relate to Melanie Jimenez.
Are you a mother or father of a son with a mental health or behavioral disorder? How did you cope with the reality that your son would probably need your help and support for the rest of his life? For many parents, accepting an illness can feel like one of the worst things you’ll ever have to do. Many mothers have spoken to me about their struggle to not only accept but also to live with their child’s illness. It isn’t easy. It’s almost unimaginable.
Consider this scenario: Your family recognizes there is a problem with a loved one (in school, work, community, home), you or your family experiences denial/anger/guilt, you finally agree that mental health treatment is needed, you have difficulty finding resources or receive multiple diagnoses or an “umbrella diagnosis” such as ADHD or depression, meds give no lasting relief or your loved one rejects treatment, insurance doesn’t cover costs or treatment is too expensive, you or your family loses hope, and your loved one continues to fade into deeper despair. Can you relate? If so, this article is for you.