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New member Broken Spirit

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Broken Spirit

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
16
I am trying to support a loved one on her journey through metal illness & finding it very hard. I would welcome any advice on how best to offer support from both a carer`s & a sufferer`s point of view. My biggest obstacle seems to be her denial that she is ill, since i`m not sure if she genuinely believes there is nothing wrong or if she just is not ready to face it. I`m not very experienced in the world of mental health issues but i`m learning all the time. Hopefully this website, which i found in Vitality Matters magazine @ my local surgery, will help me to help her, as i don`t think you can beat the voice of experience. Listening to the voice of people who have been where i am right now, seems to me to be my best option. So here`s hoping i find what i`m looking for on this forum.
 
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jamesdean

Guest
hello broken spirit i'm sure u will get some sound advice here, i have mentall illness, so i'm not able 2 help from your perspective but i'm sure some1 will b able 2 later, the only advice i can give once i embraced my condition i do have a differant understanding.
 
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Dollit

Guest
Hi Broken Spirit. Welcome to the forum. You've posted in a local section and they don't get much traffic. Lots of people will reply if you post an introduction on the main board and will be more than willing to help.
 
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Broken Spirit

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
16
Thanks.

Thanks jamesdean for responding, you have actually helped because it did seem to me that she wasn`t able to accept she had mental health problems. So now i can enquire from fellow sufferers how they came to terms with there own illness. I had great difficulty accepting her condition myself but getting her help was more inportant than what other people had to say. Being a sufferer of mental illness means you have an insight that is far superior to my own knowledge so you would know what helps, if anything.
 
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Broken Spirit

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
16
Thanks Dollit, i`ll try the main board, in fact i`m prepared to try anthing.
 
Libra1

Libra1

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2008
Messages
515
Location
West Midlands
Hi Broken Spirit and :welcome: to MHF, glad you found us :)

Can I ask what diagnosis does your loved one have? Does she have any help/support like Cpn/hospital and or medication? If you go to the home page of MHF you may find answers to your questions/queries - hope this helps.

Not many folk around at the moment as it is late, be patient :hug:
 
lucid scream

lucid scream

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
672
Location
Looking down from the bridge
comig to terms with my illness was basically a trial and error. no one wants to be ill. denial seems to come part and parcel with a diagnosis.
eventually, i just realized that when i took my meds, i was able to stay out of hospitals. if i didnt, i invariably ended up in lockdown.
could you maybe convince her to come here and look around? she will see she is not alone, which is huge (at least it was for me).
 
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Dollit

Guest
What Lucid said about denial is really very true. My consultant said to me that being diagnosed with a mental health problem, especially a major one, is like hearing about the death of oneself and you have to go through a grieving process. Denial is one of those stages. It took me 10 years to realise that I should be fighting the illness and not the diagnosis.
 
B

Broken Spirit

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
16
I have only been on this forum a few days & i already have received help, you people have a perspective on mental illness that i couldn`t hope to have. I do think this site will be beneficial to her but i`m also understanding that it will have to be when she is ready & not when i think she should be. Being an oldie i didn`t think i would be able to use a computer but i`m so glad i tried because its so good to have someone to chat to about this. Dollit`s description of the death of oneself was so interesting because when she had her initial breakdown, thats exactly how i felt, like somehow she had died & yet she was still here but not how i knew her. What sort of impact did your mental illness have on your family relationships ? did they survive ?
 
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Dollit

Guest
Personally I cut myself off from everyone for years. I couldn't cope as I felt I'd been living my life as an imposter. Gradually I came to realise that even if my family do have a limited understanding bipolar disorder (especially when it's as complicated as mine) and that they don't really get what's going on they can still be supportive at times. I think when any life changing illness is diagnosed you have to be prepared for all relationships to change and they do. I have never looked at myself the same again. But I'm more successful today than I've ever been because I've learned to adapt to myself and my illness. It takes time.
 
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homegirl

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Messages
21
Location
south west england
Thanks jamesdean for responding, you have actually helped because it did seem to me that she wasn`t able to accept she had mental health problems. So now i can enquire from fellow sufferers how they came to terms with there own illness. I had great difficulty accepting her condition myself but getting her help was more inportant than what other people had to say. Being a sufferer of mental illness means you have an insight that is far superior to my own knowledge so you would know what helps, if anything.
Hello Broken sprit
I think it is very difficult to accept you have a mental illness. I think the stigma that goes along with mental illness makes people not even tell other people that they are mentally ill, because of the attitude that everyone who is mentally ill is insane, nuts, wacky etc.
You say that you had difficulty accept her condition myself but getting her help was more important than what other people had to say.
Has your girl friend managed to get some help. Is she any better and do you understand her or her illness any better now????
Does she find that she is fobbed off always with medication or is there practical help on offer?
It is far easier to write a prescription than put real time and effort into finding out what the problem is. I think many psychiatrists are fumbling around in the dark just as much as their patients are.
Does anybody else have any thoughts on this?
 
ellamental

ellamental

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
May 31, 2008
Messages
70
Location
midlands
The Look

Hi

I hope you are coping with and coming to terms with your loved ones illness a bit better now? I just wanted to agree with Homegirl really and Dollit...it is so easy to close up and hide away because you assume friends and relatives can't and wouldn't understand. And I guess they can't truly know what it is like in the way that ...a friend of mine's mother died and mine hasn't so I can't really know but I can imagine how awful this is and hope my empathy is good enough...it doesn't stop me from wanting to try to help even though I haven't experienced it myself. Someone with exactly the same experience will just get it won't they but as Dollit said other folk can still offer a degree of support. I have subconciously slightly distanced myself from a really good friend who happens to work within mental health in a senior role but this is not how we met. We talked about all kinds and still do but I have avoided talking with her about how I think and feel, the highs and lows, triggers, relationships, lack of sleep etc etc because I felt it might compromise her with her work or it might feel like work at home for her. I don't know what I was thinking because I am still me, my mental health is just part of me and she loves me warts n all. She sent me a text saying she wants to spend time with me and has been reading a book called Manic by Terri Chaney with me in mind. Someone could be bothered and cares enough to read around the subject to try and see things from my perspective. I feel overwhelmed and like crying. I thought I would lose my friends if they knew where I was really at. Seems I couldn't have been more wrong. There have been a couple of times and I am guessing your loved one and anyone else on here for that matter will have seen...THE LOOK ..when I was getting frustrated and agitated and upset and the phone died and I should have been meeting mary and the callbox in ikea was 999 only and etc etc etc I asked a man for directions and said I wasn't doing well....the look of 'OH my bloody God' she is mad!! Then another day the children are driving me mad playing guitar hero on fiull blast and ex husband being difficult and money stuff not adding up (how could I just forget the water rates) and so on and my stress levels are rising and I have slept for two hours only and am not feeling my best when my neighbour bangs on the door with her toddlers followed by ...The Jehovas Witness! Poor boy of 19 ish in a suit asking if I would like to discuss God because nobody seems to want to talk about him at the moment. No...well...the thing is...it's not a good time...doesn't hear it...carrys on....ok try again...I stopped believing in God when someone I loved very much, not quite seven years old, died so ...I don't really want to talk about God either...doesn't hear me...magazine...no...I don't sleep well sometimes...bipolar.....that did it...the Oh my bloody God look..byeee!
Anyone else had THE LOOK of realisation lately!?:mad:
Ella :)
 
H

homegirl

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Messages
21
Location
south west england
Hi

I hope you are coping with and coming to terms with your loved ones illness a bit better now? I just wanted to agree with Homegirl really and Dollit...it is so easy to close up and hide away because you assume friends and relatives can't and wouldn't understand. And I guess they can't truly know what it is like in the way that ...a friend of mine's mother died and mine hasn't so I can't really know but I can imagine how awful this is and hope my empathy is good enough...it doesn't stop me from wanting to try to help even though I haven't experienced it myself. Someone with exactly the same experience will just get it won't they but as Dollit said other folk can still offer a degree of support. I have subconciously slightly distanced myself from a really good friend who happens to work within mental health in a senior role but this is not how we met. We talked about all kinds and still do but I have avoided talking with her about how I think and feel, the highs and lows, triggers, relationships, lack of sleep etc etc because I felt it might compromise her with her work or it might feel like work at home for her. I don't know what I was thinking because I am still me, my mental health is just part of me and she loves me warts n all. She sent me a text saying she wants to spend time with me and has been reading a book called Manic by Terri Chaney with me in mind. Someone could be bothered and cares enough to read around the subject to try and see things from my perspective. I feel overwhelmed and like crying. I thought I would lose my friends if they knew where I was really at. Seems I couldn't have been more wrong. There have been a couple of times and I am guessing your loved one and anyone else on here for that matter will have seen...THE LOOK ..when I was getting frustrated and agitated and upset and the phone died and I should have been meeting mary and the callbox in ikea was 999 only and etc etc etc I asked a man for directions and said I wasn't doing well....the look of 'OH my bloody God' she is mad!! Then another day the children are driving me mad playing guitar hero on fiull blast and ex husband being difficult and money stuff not adding up (how could I just forget the water rates) and so on and my stress levels are rising and I have slept for two hours only and am not feeling my best when my neighbour bangs on the door with her toddlers followed by ...The Jehovas Witness! Poor boy of 19 ish in a suit asking if I would like to discuss God because nobody seems to want to talk about him at the moment. No...well...the thing is...it's not a good time...doesn't hear it...carrys on....ok try again...I stopped believing in God when someone I loved very much, not quite seven years old, died so ...I don't really want to talk about God either...doesn't hear me...magazine...no...I don't sleep well sometimes...bipolar.....that did it...the Oh my bloody God look..byeee!
Anyone else had THE LOOK of realisation lately!?:mad:
Ella :)
Hi Ella
I think it is so hard to hid behind the mask of normality. Trying to juggle all he balls in the air and pretend to everybody that you are ok and wanting to scream at everybody.
I dont know what guitar hero is. Is it a song, computer game or what?
It is the hardest thing in the world, for an unselfish person, to say - Help me.
It is hard to say to the kids "STOP, TURN IT OFF, I HAVE HAD ENOUGH".
At the end of the day if you werent there they would have to cope without you in whatever way life throws at them.
I think the hardest thing is to take off the mask. Tell your ex to get lost, tell the neighbour's kid to get lost, and the neighbour and last but by no means least, tell the JWs to get lost.
At the end of the day, you are living in the real world of coping with the realities of life.
Make sure you make time for yourself. Stop letting people put on you, even your kids. I have been there, done that and wore the t-shirt.....
Dont be afraid to share your feelings - it is bottling them up that put pressure on.
 
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Dollit

Guest
Take guitar hero and hide it. Don't answer the door to the Jehovah's Witness. You're not obliged to answer the door to anyone. Tell the ex they're his kids so he should be supporting them. ANd my money stuff never adds up - I regularly forget something. It's part of getting older.

Sit down in a quiet place, even if it is only locked in the bathroom and tell the whole world to bugger off for an hour.
 
Q

quality factor

Guest
calming

Hi Dollit,
I must butt in here and congratulate you on the common sense you exude on this forum.
I find you to be very calming too..if I'm feeling wound up I just go to some of your replies and hey presto..I' m getting calmer. You say so much in so few words...thanks!(y)
 
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