Parents of Children with Mental Illnesses

Parents of Children with Mental Illnesses

source: mindsfoundation.org

When most people see a child that is suffering from a severe mental illness, they think of the effect that it has had on that child’s life. What many don’t take into consideration, though, is the effect having a mentally ill child can have on a parent.

Stephanie Escamilla describes raising her 14 year old son, Daniel, as “a rollercoaster ride through hell that no one wants to take”. Daniel suffers from bipolar disorder with psychosis and has been hospitalized twenty times, according tocnn.com. Escamilla thought that she hated Daniel, hated what she had had to go through. Then she realized that what she really hated was the bipolar disease and what it forced her son to endure every day. Every day, Stephanie listens to Daniel say that the voices still urge him to kill himself and others, yet she remains strong and refuses to give up.

Many parents, like Escamilla, were doubted by friends and family when they told of their child’s behavior. Lisa Lamberts son had violent tendencies to his brother, his mother, and himself and when she talked to other moms in the neighborhood, some were terrified of him and others seemed to think that she wasn’t trying hard enough, according to commonhealth.wbur.org. When they are fighting such a huge battle, they need to have as much support as they can if they are to be victorious.

Next time you see a mentally ill child, encourage their parents as much as you encourage the child, because they are fighting a battle, too.