The most unpredictable situations I have encountered is living with a loved one who has mental health challenges. More times than I have kept track of, I have had the thought, “We have found the path to recovery.” Boom! unexpectedly, a downward shift occurs. Mothers and families of those with mental health challenges are often discouraged and at a loss for what to do. I want to share a few helpful things I have learned caring for my son, Darrell. I titled my list, “A Mother’s Coping Tips Living with Mentally Ill Son”.
Daily Healing Prayers is top of my list, “A Mother’s Coping Tips Living with Mentally Ill Son”.
I believe in the power of words and prayer. I say various daily prayers (not all of them at once) as prompted by the spirit. I have included several healing prayers on my blog that have definitely helped Darrell. While saying daily healing prayers, I also use every available resource to help my loved one get well including applied medical mental health knowledge.
Get a favorite pet
Next to prayer, I have witnessed more positive emotional responses watching my son, Darrell, interact with his pet rabbit Pepper. Whatever pet your child likes, I would find a way to get it (unless they are violent to pets-a part of some mental illnesses is killing animals). I have heard of pet ducks, chickens, lizards, iguanas, gerbils, or whatever animal your child connects with! I don’t understand it, but pets understand human emotions better than humans do. Pepper simply understands Darrell’s emotional shifts better than I do. Fyi, healing prayers and favorite pets are at the top of my list “A Mother’s Coping Tips living with Mentally Ill Son”.
When Darrell was at the mental hospital, he refused to take the medicine the doctor prescribed. It surprised me when the doctor didn’t force him to take them. He continued to refuse medicine for a whole week so the psychiatrist told him it was time to go before a civil judge to present why he didn’t want to take the recommended medicine. Darrell told the judge that medicines didn’t help him so he didn’t want to put them in his body. The judge explained when a person is having thoughts to kill himself, taking medicine often helps lessen or alleviate those thoughts. He asked him if he would try to take the prescribed medicine for a month with the provision he could come back to tell him if the medicine didn’t help. Surprisingly, Darrell agreed so the judge committed him (court ordered) him to take his prescribed medicine. Since Darrell decided the medicine was helping him, he didn’t go back before the judge for six months. At some point, the medical court commitment will be lifted. It taught me the power of patiently waiting for my son to make a choice rather than forcing him which is a constant fight that doesn’t work anyway! I appreciated this psychiatrist teaching me that “forcing” does not work and usually makes things worse!
It has really helped Darrell to write down his thoughts and feelings. I make sure he always has plenty of paper and pencils/pens. In fact, Darrell carries a writing tablet almost all the time. A common symptom of some mentally ill patients is their inability to communicate with others because they are often locked in a different world or reality. I have found it beneficial when having a conversation with my son, to record the conversation using a word processor so we both can go back and review what was said. I have found this process results in fewer arguments and more clarity.
Bless your food and water
Bless your food and drinks with all the needed nutrients for good mental health. Here is a link to my blog post about blessing food and drinks.
Attend the NAMI Family-to-Family class
Attend a free NAMI Family-to-Family class in your area to learn about various mental health disorders. It is very helpful to gather with others who understand the challenges associated with mental illness.
Apply for Financial Help
The last item on my list, ” A Mother’s Coping Tips Living with Mentally Ill Son” is to apply for Medicaid, PCN, CHIP, and all available mental health resources in your area if you qualify under the income guidelines. It is a hassle to fill out paperwork, but lessening the financial burdens upon your shoulders will most likely lessen your stress helping you to more fully focus on finding solutions to help your loved one get well. I also have been told if you don’t have health insurance, go to the emergency room if immediate mental health treatment is needed; I don’t know about foreign countries, but America has a law that no person can be refused medical attention despite their ability to pay.
Top Featured Photo by Steve Harvey
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