It’s such a new feeling to be excited about Monday morning. I was happy for my weekend. I spent yesterday doing me. I putzed around. I babies my headache. I wasn’t overcome with dread for returning to work. I was excited.
It’s refreshing to be excited about my life. I haven’t been excited about my job in quite some time. It’s exciting learning new things and feeling like I am part of a team and doing something that makes a difference. I’m appreciated for the job I do and I feel that the rest of the team values me. Feeling appreciated is a very powerful incentive for me.
Today, I waited too long to write my blog so my thoughts are all over the place. I asked a friend what I should write about and she said,
“Hmmm for today write about how untreated mental illness destroys peopleNot just the mental person but everyone”.
It’s true. I have worked with the mentally ill in the past. I work again with the mentally ill. The population I work with is living in adult foster care homes. the goal for my program is for the residents to eventually transition back into the community so they have more independence than previous populations I have served.
I see every day the hurt and the pain and the drain it can have on a family when one member has a mental illness. What makes sense to us, does not make sense to them. They do not process life at the same speed or in the same direction as “normal” people do. But it’s not fair and it’s not right to categorize people without mental illness as “normal”. there is no normal. How can it be normal to not have a mental illness when according to National Association for Mentally Ill:
Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year. Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.Mental Health By the Numbers | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental …
That means for most of us, we either live with a mental illness or we know someone in our friend circle or family that has a mental illness. Still, we pretend that everything and everyone is normal. If it is something we are not used to doing or experiencing, we call it crazy. While it might seem perfectly normal to someone with a mental illness.
We continue to learn more about the mind, brain, and how many people are affected by mental illness and still the funding for treatment has been slashed repeatedly. It is a common excuse for mass shootings: He was mentally ill, we don’t need to have gun control, we need more mental health funding. The logic and argument is flawed but there is truth in the statement. We do need more mental health treatment funding.
Over the past three years, states have cut mental health funding by more than $2 billion. Things may get worse this year. Some states will have even more difficulty balancing their books because of the absence of federal stimulus dollars.https://www.governing.com/topics/health-human-services/Troubled-State-Mental-Health-Funding.html
The point of this blog is not to advocate for more mental health funding, or maybe it is. What I am trying to get to is that not only does mental illness affect the individual, it affects the partner, the family, the neighborhood, the schools, the community. Mental illness affects everyone that it connects with and that reach is long.
Families that have mentally ill family members do not always know how to respond. They do not know best how to support the MI (mentally ill person) nor do they have the support to learn more and give more support. We cannot give what we do not have. As the family gets more confused and more drained financially and emotionally, they do not get the support or education that they need. They do not know how to encourage the person to get treatment or how to love that person without reacting in anger and frustration.
The family (or friends) are expected or called upon repeatedly to be understanding while not understanding the situation themselves. It is hard to not be frustrated when someone keeps doing the same action over and over with no regard to the effects of their actions. While in truth, they often are incapable of understanding the ramifications of their actions. They do not have good reasoning abilities or they do not have the energy to take care of themselves. The family becomes constantly drained while not having the support themselves in terms of self care or understanding from outside of the family unit.
It is a never ending cycle of lack of support for the mentally ill and for the support person. And where does the family support system get their support from? There are community resources but it becomes very disjointed and hard to coordinate and fund. The funding is not for respite or support for families it is for the mentally ill. And the cycle continues.
The WhyCare? campaign is an opportunity to share the importance of mental health treatment, support and services to the millions of people, families, caregivers and loved ones affected by mental illness and a challenge to address broken systems and attitudes that present barriers to treatment and recovery.
Living with and supporting someone with severe depression is draining. It takes a toll on all those affected. Again, what is the solution? What I propose is that we learn to support each other better. Find your community, your tribe. Talk to those you can trust. Trust that someone will understand and be there for you. The government is not going to step in and “do the right thing”. Their monies are going elsewhere like funding wars. We as a community need to step up and help each other.
I’m getting tired now so I am probably rambling but I did want to bring up this sensitive subject. It’s not a research paper. There is much more to this than what is in this brief blog. I work with the mentally ill. I find it valuable work. I can make a difference with the MI and with the family. Can you help?
#mentalillnessawareness #helpeachother #supportfamilies #findingthejuicy #somuchmore
Mental health awareness week starts every year on the second Monday in May – in 2019 from 13 – 19 May.https://www.awarenessdays.com/awareness-days-calendar/mental-health-awareness-week-2019/
In a world that is increasingly opening up to – and understanding those with – mental health issues, it’s no surprise that Mental Health Awareness Week is now a firmer fixture on calendars around the UK and beyond. It’s organised by the Mental Health Foundation, and focuses on a major issue each and every year.