Many years ago, people suffering from mental illnesses were hidden so that the community would not ostracize their families. These people wasted away behind closed doors which was pretty cruel.
Today, people still hesitate to admit that mental illness has knocked on their front door and entered their family circle. Despite the advances in the treatment of the illness, it is not easy to face the fact that one’s child has been afflicted. Many parents think it is because of something they did wrong in that child’s upbringing, which leads to blame, shame and often, divorce. Yet, no one can cause schizophrenia.
Nobody can cause s c h I z o p h r e n i a.
Accepting the fact that our child was suffering from a mental illness as well as finding the right help for him, became the most important thing in our lives and whatever we did revolved around our son and his illness, his voices and his desperate plea and need for peace of mind.
There are three serious mental illnesses – bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and major depression. Our son was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
Because of the advances in drug intervention and research in brain functions, mental illness is highly treatable today, if recognized early and dealt with by professionals in the field. Things have changed a great deal since the days when our son went through the system.
People who suffer from a mental illness are not strangers. They are our brothers, uncles, fathers and neighbors – singers, actors that we love; ordinary people for whom life has dealt an unfair burden and who need all the help that we can give them, whether we are related to them or not.