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When People Need Help But Parents Don't Step In

lavenderfire

lavenderfire

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May 10, 2021
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176
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australia
Someone I know has been mentally unwell since around 12. They had depression amongst other things, and they spent the past 10 years withdrawing to themselves with no friends and only working and spending money on weekends. They have lived a very secluded life. But their parents never stepped in to talk with them or encourage them to seek treatment. Recently things got so bad for them that they say they are finally realising that there was something wrong for all those years (at least 20 years) but they could not see, and they wish someone had helped them see and get help.

What are your thoughts on such situations?
 
scarecrow

scarecrow

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Mar 4, 2021
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uk
I can relate to them. I think sometimes parents don't want to imagine there's anything wrong, or they assume it's simply a part of growing up (teenage years and all that jazz). I was usually told I was being overdramatic when I was around that age, that I needed to grow up, get over myself. When I insisted I needed to see a doctor, they told me it was just a phase I would eventually get over. When I had meltdowns or locked myself in my room for days on end, I was simply ignored.

In reality, I was certainly unwell mentally, but the long term effects of being told that my issues don't matter has made me extremely uncomfortable with the idea of seeing a doctor. I tell myself I don't need help. I'm often nervous just to talk about myself on this website, because I'm afraid family members will see, and will judge me for it.

I think people need to be more open to the idea of mental illness being present in family members, and the best way to do that would be to normalise mental illness in general, rather than demonising it or treating it like it's something to be ashamed of. If your child is sick, you treat them - mental illness is just as devastating as physical illness.

I feel horrible that someone else is/had to go through such an experience, but I hope they can reach out and get the help they need. 🙏
 
Lone_wanderer

Lone_wanderer

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Jan 22, 2012
Messages
5,321
When I was a kid and used to talk about feeling mentally unwell I was told "don't say anything or they will lock you up", it was the 80's. I tried to talk to a GP about in around 85 or 86 and was told "to pull myself together" by my family GP. This led me into smoking cannabis for my depression and amphetamine which gave me self confidence, around 13 or 14 years later I was hospitalised several times and diagnosed with Schizophrenia.

It didn't help that my mum was a narcissist and my stepdad a sociopath. I personally think I was a quiet borderline (it explains a hell of a lot about my younger years) that developed psychotic problems from years of drug abuse. I have tried to bring this up with my CPN but she just says I have a long standing diagnosis of "psychotic illness". Probably means they would have to give me more help.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
8,260
Location
Nashua NH
Someone I know has been mentally unwell since around 12. They had depression amongst other things, and they spent the past 10 years withdrawing to themselves with no friends and only working and spending money on weekends. They have lived a very secluded life. But their parents never stepped in to talk with them or encourage them to seek treatment. Recently things got so bad for them that they say they are finally realising that there was something wrong for all those years (at least 20 years) but they could not see, and they wish someone had helped them see and get help.

What are your thoughts on such situations?
Parents are not trained mental health evaluators. Most parents also don’t want to see flaws in their children. Absent something significant like suicide attempts or visual self harming it’s unlikely a parent would see a mental illness issue where there might be one. I don’t think the parents can really be considered negligent here for not taking proactive action to get their child help for possible psychiatric issues sooner. They probably wrote their behaviors off as being quirky. Clearly if they are able to hold down a job and spend money on the weekend they are not in such a bad state as those who might not be able to hold a job because their mental health issues hold them back. I really don’t think there is a reason to blame the parent here. xo, j
 
lavenderfire

lavenderfire

Well-known member
Joined
May 10, 2021
Messages
176
Location
australia
I can relate to them. I think sometimes parents don't want to imagine there's anything wrong, or they assume it's simply a part of growing up (teenage years and all that jazz). I was usually told I was being overdramatic when I was around that age, that I needed to grow up, get over myself. When I insisted I needed to see a doctor, they told me it was just a phase I would eventually get over. When I had meltdowns or locked myself in my room for days on end, I was simply ignored.

In reality, I was certainly unwell mentally, but the long term effects of being told that my issues don't matter has made me extremely uncomfortable with the idea of seeing a doctor. I tell myself I don't need help. I'm often nervous just to talk about myself on this website, because I'm afraid family members will see, and will judge me for it.

I think people need to be more open to the idea of mental illness being present in family members, and the best way to do that would be to normalise mental illness in general, rather than demonising it or treating it like it's something to be ashamed of. If your child is sick, you treat them - mental illness is just as devastating as physical illness.

I feel horrible that someone else is/had to go through such an experience, but I hope they can reach out and get the help they need. 🙏
I agree. I think it is neglect to wonder if there's something wrong, and not take any steps to check. It can result in the kids degenerating and losing out on a different life. They won't know they're sick, they are themselves. I am sorry you have been through something similar too. I have seen movies where someones mother or something has a feeling something bad is happening to their kid but they do nothing. That is neglect.
 
lavenderfire

lavenderfire

Well-known member
Joined
May 10, 2021
Messages
176
Location
australia
When I was a kid and used to talk about feeling mentally unwell I was told "don't say anything or they will lock you up", it was the 80's. I tried to talk to a GP about in around 85 or 86 and was told "to pull myself together" by my family GP. This led me into smoking cannabis for my depression and amphetamine which gave me self confidence, around 13 or 14 years later I was hospitalised several times and diagnosed with Schizophrenia.

It didn't help that my mum was a narcissist and my stepdad a sociopath. I personally think I was a quiet borderline (it explains a hell of a lot about my younger years) that developed psychotic problems from years of drug abuse. I have tried to bring this up with my CPN but she just says I have a long standing diagnosis of "psychotic illness". Probably means they would have to give me more help.
I am so sad to hear that you even talked about your mental unwellness and were told to pretty much shut up. Not all families would have said that. It depends on the people. So you self medicated, and, what else can a person do if they don't know any other options? That is terrible that you went through all that. Can you get a 2nd CPN, someone on the side who can assess other aspects. I mean, no point hiding truths or keeping them locked up. If maybe your CPN feels like they are doing well balancing what they already know and can't take on more, I don't think its them being bad, I think they think that's what's best for you.
 
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