According to the National Institute of Mental Health, mental disorders are common in the United States and Internationally. In any given year, an estimated 26.2 percent of Americans are diagnosed with a mental disorder. Worldwide, there are as many as 51 million who suffer with schizophrenia alone.
For every person with a mental illness
For every person with an addiction
There is an average of 11 people who love them and are affected by their illness.
Loving1withmentalillness is a place to receive support, learn about mental illness and addiction, and hear about the latest treatments and research. Our Recovery Collection features original stories, videos, music, and art, created to support those with mental illness and their loved ones. The Recovery Collection is inspired by those living within an active recovery, and loved ones who are affected within this ever-changing, dynamic experience.
This is a place to share your story. We recognize yours will be no ordinary journey.
Our content strives to be motivating and hopeful, as we recognize the unique, evolving challenges of a mental health diagnosis. Our mission is to support the friends, family members, and associates as they often stand alone, while their loved ones battle within a painful, real recovery.
* Has your life been torn apart by a loved one's behavior?
* Are you afraid your child, spouse, parent is mentally ill, or suicidal?
* Are you too afraid to find out?
* Is your family member, friend, neighbor or associate an addict?
* What help is available for your loved one? For you?
* Are you running out of energy, hope, faith...love?
Members of this community answer "yes" to one or more of those questions.
* Are you alone? NO!
You may recognize early signs of mental illness in yourself or your loved one.
The first step may the emergence of unusual, increasingly erratic behavior.
The second step may be denying it exists.
The third step is the dreaded diagnosis.
The fourth step is treatment.
The fifth step is recovery.
Every step focuses on the patient or the addict. There's little left for you- the person who loves them. Loving one with a mental illness isolates, traps, and marginalizes. We are alone in our fear.
I understand the frustration you feel and stigma which may surround you. As your involvement with the illness grows, your perception and insight may alter. You live to do your best for the person who you love. Yet, you long for simpler days and need answers.
Through my own 30-year journey, and the people who courageously share their stories, I now believe there is a clearer path. Yes, there still exists challenges to finding and receiving the proper treatment for your loved one. This road is not an easy one. You need safe people and places to reach out for your own support.
My desire to make a difference grew from seeds planted in 1983. As a young wife and mother, I drove a 1974 olive green Buick to the psychiatric hospital to pick up my husband. I can still hear our 2 month old daughter crying in the backseat as scared and alone, I listened to his delusion laced words. We had nowhere to go. As he slipped further into his illness, I reached out for help anywhere and everywhere. Lack of money would limit treatment access. There was little guidance for those who coped with a loved one's illness on a day to day basis.
I felt alone with the denial, shame and fear. I was desperate to find a place to address the unique needs that arise when you love someone lost in mental illness. In that decade the internet was a fledgling technology, and lacked the massive resources at our disposal today. Now, you have a higher level of information, and depth of understanding which didn't exist in the 80's. However, you may still feel alone at your computer as you research your loved one's illness and treatment options.
Loving1withmentalillness gives you a voice-a place to share your personal journey. We can learn so much from each other, and within this process we become stronger. My goal is one day you will begin to see the light towards the end of this tunnel.
You are no longer alone.
Reach out your hand. Your extended family lives here.