This post is going to give readers a better understanding of what it is like to live with someone who is dealing with mental health disorders.
Lets get introduced to my daughter who is what I consider the primary person dealing with mental health disorders.
She is in her late 20s and has been struggling with anxiety and depression and various other mental health disorders since she was about 15. She has had a relatively rough time the last decade learning to cope with the various things thrown her way.
I will get into more details about the how’s and what’s and why’s that led to her issues in a later post.
I am Mom. I have a full time outside the home job which I am blessed to have because they are very flexible with my schedule.
In the early days before I gained the knowledge I now have about dealing with mental health disorders I would very often need to leave work in a panic because of a text or phone call from my daughter who I will refer to as HC. At a later time I will get into all the details about FMLA (family medical leave of absence) and how important they are if the caregiver or supporter works outside the home. HC and I have a unique relationship now, but is been not always this way.
Many growing pains that we will share in hopes that our experiences can help others along the way.
When I meet up with people who I haven’t seen in a while they will often ask me how we are doing. Most our friends and family are aware of the struggles HC has dealt with over the years but very few if any totally understand what it is like to live each and every day dealing with mental health disorders. Often they will ask me “what exactly is wrong with HC?” and if I were to tell them everything that she has been diagnosed with it would be one very long list.
She is not quite through the entire alphabet but we have a great start in that direction.
- Bipolar Disorder 2
- Complex PTSD
- Major Depressive Disorder
- Non-epileptic seizures
- Syncope episodes
- and a few others we can get into at a later date.
The resources we have found to help HC along the way have been all over the place. Starting with guidance counselors and youth pastors until it was clear that we needed more professional help.
There have been short term inpatient stays, longer inpatient stays, short term outpatient programs, longer intensive outpatient programs, emergency room visits, primary care physician visits, urgent care visits, talk therapy, psychiatrist visits, and the list goes on.
In addition to all the above visits we have invested in at home therapy items such as weighted blankets and fidget toys and self-help books and tools.
Then there is the medication list which changes so often I am not even going to try to keep an accurate count here today.
It is my greatest hope and desire to be able to use this blog to reach out to anyone who is living with or supporting a loved one who is dealing with mental health disorders.
Although I am far from a perfect caregiver over the years I have found some tools that have become very useful and hope they can provide some help to others. So many times when I look at posts regarding dealing with mental health disorders I find the perspective of the patient. This blog will be totally different in that I will be giving my perspective of what it is like being on the other side. Sometimes that is a very scary place to be and I hope that someone out there will be able to pick up some advice or a tip or two to help get through some of those scary times.
Keep fighting the good fight,