Holidays are stressful enough. When a loved one suffers with a mental illness, it can be overwhelming for both of you. We all have visions of perfect meals with the smiling family all around. We also try to hard to make it easy for our loved one, who may only want everything to follow the
One of my first questions when our son was returning home after a suicide attempt was, “How do we ‘watch’’ him?” I didn’t get the answer I wanted: “You don’t.”
I was prepared to have a 24-hour watch, and do it all myself if I had to. That was neither possible nor practical. In the emotion of the moment, I wasn’t thinking; I was reacting. I didn’t, couldn’t, think about myself.
Like any traumatic change, acceptance is at the end. Whether the change is due to loss of income, illness, or a job change, a point comes when the new way of life is accepted.
The sudden burst of anger shook the entire household. Where did that come from? What triggered it?
It’s not your ill loved one ranting and raving; it is you.
Why? The human response when bad things happen – death, loss of job, disease, mental illness. Our inquiring minds go into hyper-drive seeking an explanation for the unexplainable.
Many family members get stuck in the Denial Stage, never moving on to really dealing with the mental illness of their loved one. Leaving Denial means believing this terrible thing has really happened. While in the Denial Stage, it is easier to think all the bad symptoms will magically go away, or there’s some other
Holidays are hard. Crowded schedules, family expectations, self expectations, and physical and emotional drain. For our loved ones who suffer with brain disorders that cause emotional distress, all the stress of the holidays is even worse. While we are planning joyous celebrations, our ill family member may be just trying to deal with the daily