Monday, July 18, 2011

Mental Illness

I am sharing here things that I would not normally share with people. I feel like when I put myself out there and share personal stuff that people will criticize me or my family. But instead I hope this will help someone. But here I am opening up...

I want to thank you all for your prayers and concern for my son Jimmy. He is doing better now and is expected to be transferred to another facility for 14 days for treatment. On Thur (I found out on Fri morn) when he was taken to the hospital it was bad. On the way to the hospital he bottomed out and they had to do an emergency trach so he could get air. He says he doesn't remember doing this to himself. Anyway the thing now is for him to get mental help and to take this seriously. He will be in a facility now for the next 14 days.

I could hear this coming in Jimmy's voice when I've talked to him on recent occasions. I've tried to be there for him and telling him that He and I and Ethan would take a trip soon just to get away and have some down time. I've told him that I would come over there if he needed me to. Having temporary sole custody of Ethan for the past couple of months has been stressful. As many of you know Ethan requires care 24/7 and for a working man this has been hard on him. The estranged wife now has Ethan and that is where he should be for now.

Depression and mental illness are not the same but depression is a symptom of mental illness. Someone can be depressed but easily recovers and goes on with life. Sometime when we are depressed it is hard to reach out for help especially if you've never done it before. For someone who is depressed most times they keep those feelings locked away till they know what to do or till it just eats them up. If you know someone is going through something and they don't talk about it - be concerned. There are many families who deal with this sort of thing on different levels and severity. It is hard on those looking in to not understand and don't know what to do for their loved one. Mental illness can be extremely difficult on all the people involved in that persons life.

Mental illness is displayed in a persons life in different ways. Often times the family doesn't even no and many don't understand. It is hard to understand why an incident might cause someone to go off the deep end and then a person who has no mental problems deal with the same incident totally rational.

Mental illness effects people in many different ways. Some become inward and don't talk. Some become outward and lash out at others not really meaning to hurt their feelings and then the vicious cycle begins. Feelings of guilt and shame and then not knowing what to do to help themselves to get better. For some people the extreme occurs - the feeling that their loved ones would be better off without them.

Friends I don't know what your dealing with or if you have family that has these sorts of problems. But let me tell you -
Be there for them.
Be understanding even if you don't understand.
Listen and listen carefully. Often you can tell in someones voice.
Tell them how much they mean to you and that you want to do everything possible to help them to feel better.
Go with them to psychiatric appointments and therapy appts.
Let them know that you want to understand what they feel.
If they say something to hurt you - don't lash out at them.
Take them seriously especially when they talk of ending their life.
Pay attention because it is likely they won't say anything of their intentions if they are thinking on these lines.
They will withdraw and stop talking or just go through the motions to humor you.

Life is not easy sometime. There are things that come up that we have to deal with - decisions to make - and sometime it's hard especially when others are involved.

For me - I have learned to follow doctors instructions, speak up when I need to - I have a voice and have learned to us it. I know my body and my psychy and recognize when I'm not recovering from stress properly. I have learned to not be silent about my problems when they seem bigger than me. I know how to ASK for help now and will in a heartbeat.


Susan said...

Thank you for your writing. I have a daughter in deep depression right now and feels we would all be better off without her. I've been keeping a eagle eye on her, and trying to help. I've been on the depression wagon myself, sometimes sitting with a handful of pills in my hand. But the picture of my children always stopped me, and now I'm sooooo much better! Thank God. I will keep your son and you in my prayers. I feel for you friend.


Stacy said...

I am glad to hear from you. I've checked in several times in hopes of better news from you.

My heart goes out to you and your loved ones. I know that it is not easy. Our son (my stepson) deals with mental illness, alcoholism, drug addiction, and depression. We are constantly torn between what is tough love and what is pushing him too hard? What is helping and what is hurting? Are we making him stronger or weaker by our actions? All the what ifs. Some times we take one step forward followed quickly by two steps back. It is a scary place to be... for him... for us... for everyone.

Always being there to listen and encourage isn't easy. It is easy to be sympathetic to someone with a visible injury or illness... not so much with something hidden. I know that you'll do everything you can to help him get the help he needs.

Remember to take care of yourself too... you've got a long battle ahead of you.

You and yours remain in my prayers.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Becca I am glad to know that Jimmy is doing better. I am so sorry that you have to go through this, I know that you have problems of your own but thankfully you can talk about them.
My husband is on tablets for PN that cause depression and suicidal effects. The Dr is scared to up the dose because of the stress in his life. At this stage he is on 300mg 3z per day when he should be on 900mg 3 x per day. Our house in the UK is on the market and I hope it sells soon so we can be together, he needs my support. I know only too well what you must be going through.
My thoughts and my prayers are with you as always. Diane xx

FlowerLady said...

Dear Becca ~ It isn't easy putting yourself out here like you did, but I feel you will get lots of love and support, prayers, good wishes and encouragement. I'm glad your son has made it through so far and pray for his healing mentally, physically and spiritually. May you feel God's love, peace and strength surrounding you as you do what you can to care for and nurture your son.

Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

Carol said...

So glad to hear that he is doing better and getting the help that he needs. I've worried and prayed for you since your original post. I've fought depression on more than one occasion in my life and it is a hard battle to win. Support from family and friends CAN make all the difference in the world. Thank you for being open and sharing.... I know it's not easy...know that we are there for you if you need us.

Joani said...

Hi Becca,
Thank you for sharing. I hope that this will help you as well as maybe someone reading that also needs to hear these words. I can remember hearing Marie Osmond saying that she had told her son that she would see him on Sunday and that she wished that she had just canceled the show, dropped everything and went. He might still be alive. I'm sure that you are all dealing with a lot but with our prayers and our listening, you and yours will get through this. Don't be afraid to put it out there. Love, prayers, & hugs.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Becca, I am sitting here crying my heart out for you --and your son. I don't know much about these kinds of problems --but I do know that they are not talked about enough. Thanks for sharing. I am glad that your son is okay. God Bless him ---and all of those who struggle with depression and mental problems.

Hugs and Prayers,

Rosemary said...

Hoping help will heal your son and the situation he is in.... a long road tho it will be.

Thisisme. said...

Becca - I have been praying for you and your son, and was so pleased to read your post today, to hear that Jimmy pulled through, and is now in the right place for him. It won't be an easy road, but I know that you will always be there to support him. God bless you.

imac said...

I fully understand what you are going thru, family members have suffered this, they need help, let the hospital units help them out, and as you say give them all the support you can.
Thinking of you and your family.
My family had a tragic time many years ago.

Daisy said...

Oh Becca, I'm so sorry to hear this news about your son. I'm glad they were able to help him at the hospital. Take good care of yourself in this very stressful time. You and your family are in my prayers.

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

We can't always understand, but we can always love and be present for those we love.
My family has some been through some similar situations.
I hope you are surprised by the strenghth you possess to do what you need to do right now.
I wish all the best for your family.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Thanks for posting this. I will pray.

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

God bless you, Becca. I took courage to write this post. I will be praying for your son and everyone else involved, especially you.

Junebug said...

Becca, I will continue to hold your entire family in my prayers. Thank you for posting about mental illness. Please let all of your blog friends be an outlet for you. We truly are here to support and love you. Hugs, not only during this difficult time but always!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Hi Becca, I hope that 14 days is enough treatment to turn the situation around. I hope your Jimmy has a good support system. I will keep praying for him and you it isn't easy on a Mother when a child is struggling:(