Part of what I want to do with this blog is make it a place for caregivers of those with mental illness or mental health problems to be able to better understand how to help those they know who are experiencing or living with these issues. In that light, I am introducing a new section today called Pillar Talk. The name comes from a time my mom felt helpless in trying to support those she knew who were experiencing mental illness. I explained to her that being an open supportive ear was like being a pillar that helps keep the building up. This has helped her to understand her role in my life, and how she supports others. I hope to have other people write in this section, but to start it off, here is a post from my momma!
I'm Kate's mom. I love being Kate's mom! I am unbelievably proud to be Kate's mom.
As every mother knows, your child's struggle is your struggle.
I have watched Kate work on managing her illness for many years. It manifested as stomachaches then moved to headaches. We went to numerous doctors and had many tests done. There was nothing "physically wrong". I felt so helpless. I just wanted someone to say "This is what she has and this is how we fix it". Every test eliminated the "horrible things" - cancer, tumours, something life threatening. Still there were no answers. As I said, I felt helpless. After all the physical tests were exhausted we were sent to a psychologist who, thankfully, diagnosed her. I was given some techniques to help with some of her issues. Mental illness wasn't something that was easily or readily discussed and I didn't really have anyone to discuss it with. I would have so appreciated others with whom I could talk with. It's so frustrating as a parent to see our children in pain and not be able to do anything, and not know how to help them.
It's encouraging to see awareness being brought to mental illness. I have always considered it an illness like any "physical" illness. Limits are put on all of us and we have to learn to live with them. I have never been embarrassed to talk about Kate's illness, although for many years Kate didn't want to talk about it. I am so grateful that she is now able to stand up and acknowledge her mental illness. She's always been a very private person and I know that was hard to do