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Living Life with the Mentally Disturbed

I don’t like scrap-bookers! They make me feel guilty, with all their tidy albums lying on dust-free coffee tables. I have albums too! They’re still wrapped in plastic, but I have them!

Somewhere, in that huge box of loose pics waiting to be affixed to pretty pages, is a school picture of me at the age of nine. There are no bows in my hair, and I’m not wearing a special dress. Why? Because my mother was in a mental hospital.

More arresting than the lack of “picture day” finery is the sadness in that little girl’s eyes. Every time I see that picture, I remember how I felt: confused, bereft, and very lonely.

In Depression: Marilyn’s Story, I mentioned my mother’s depression after my brother’s drowning. I may not have gone quite far enough with that story.

I was too young to know the clinical diagnoses my mother was given, and my father—whose deep sadness I remember vividly—died long ago, so I can’t ask him.

Whether my mother’s mental breakdown resulted from tragic circumstances or a chemical imbalance, I don’t know—but either way, the affect on my father and me was the same.

Living with someone disturbed by mental instability or illness is like living on an emotional rollercoaster (cliché acknowledged).  Recently, two friends of mine—both on the verge of giving up—said the same words: I’m just tired. I don’t know what to do.

One went looking for help and found a wonderful source offering information and tools to cope with the highs and lows of life with the mentally disturbed.

The best is at the bottom of the following interview, so give it a good listen. When you’re through, go to the recommended website for a plethora of great testimonies and tools. There really is help there.

Come back and tell me what you think. Did you find help? Please, leave a comment or start a conversation on this important subject.

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God bless.

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