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Mental Health

From obsessive behaviors, to bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress, mental health conditions can be debilitating. Are you suffering? Share your story and advice for others.

If you believe you need immediate assistance, please call your local emergency number or the mental health crisis hotline listed in your local phone book's government pages.

Click here for  mental health resources.

Click here to find a mental health professional.
Replied By: aeropam on Oct 22, 2014, 5:29AM
I caught the end of a Dr. Phil show today, and Dr. phil was offering help to a troubled young man as far as being evaluated and diagnosed with a mental illness. He told him that mental illness was a medical issue, and should hold no more shame than being diagnosed with diabetes. This statement angers me because I've heard it over and over since being diagnosed as bipolar 2 three years ago, And it is a great big lie! Since being diagnosed I have been disowned by two of my four grown children, and friends that were told have distanced themselves completely out of my life. My husband of twenty seven years doesn't trust or believe the simplest statemts from me. I am not just Pam anymore, I am bipolar first, and Pam second! I cannot get life insurance because of this. Having the label of bipolar has GREATLY lessened my value as a human being because people automatically associate bipolar with crazy!!  Nobody agrees that being bipolar 2 is completely different than bipolar 1, and have no desire to educate themselves about it. My own husband who swore his undying love and support to me when I was firat diagnosed, now looks right thru me as if I were a ghost. He will not admit it, but he is obviously ashamed to be seen in public with me because he continuously cancels plans to go out together. To him mental illness is all the same. Depression, both types of bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and schizophrenia are all the same. CRAZY!
Replied By: areeg4 on Oct 18, 2014, 10:07AM
This is not a post seeking help or to be on a show.  I am now living a very blessed life with bipolar II.  I am tired of only hearing about bipolar when an individual makes a terrible decision.  I take my meds every day, and live a productive life.  I have the support of my husband and two grown children. 

Yes, I did live a childhood filled with demons and I have had to travel through depression and a suicide attempt.  I have been hospitalized for depression and PTSD.  I do struggle everyday and dream every night of my past and guilt for not helping my sisters.  I also know that this was then and I have so much to be thankful for now.  It truly helps me to remember how far I have come.

It is my hope to use this safe place to blog each day the thoughts, failures, and successes of a person living a bipolar life.  It can be done and it does not always have to be a news event.  I want to someday be able to say 'I have bipolar' with the safety as someone who says 'I have diabetes'.  Bipolar is not something I should be ashamed of; it is just a chemical imbalance.
Replied By: starling834 on Oct 17, 2014, 2:51PM
I don't have many friends...I suffer from AvPD...and depression....just would like to meet people....
Replied By: crazydanger on Oct 14, 2014, 5:04PM
I know what it is like to have mental issues and have your parents just push and push until you are on the edge and even at times go over that edge.I have suffered from from PTSD since I was a kid after being raped and beat by my step father and step grandmother for nearly five years.After I turned twenty and was officially diagnosed with PTSD my mother found that if she used the same phrases that my step grandmother used as she beat me for long enough she can get me to fly into a rage and hurt someone maybe even her and then she holds it over my head.She knows everything I have gone through in fact she knew about the my step father raping me before the law did or before I even told her.My step father told her and she did nothing.I didn't know she knew util a month ago and she slipped up and told me.
Replied By: patient11 on Oct 13, 2014, 9:00AM - In reply to tryingsohard
I had a horrible childhood & still in the healing process.
I was verbally, mentally & sexually abused from 8-18 & have had numerous kick packs since.
I had a mother to whom had an affair & ended up marrying what I now have accepted was my 3rd cousin. He was also verbally & mentally abusive towards my sister & brother. My brother has since passed due to what I feel now my sf (stepfather) either killed him and/or they fought constantly & he had abused drugs & drank allot. Now, either my brother was killed or killed himself. I think it is weird that my brother stood up to him & my sf hated this fact. So, he could've killed himself. We will never know & for this reason, I have to live with not only the horrible abusive past but not knowing the truth because this happend back 20 years ago or so & back then they didn't have the facts on sexual abuse in the home. Everything was behind closed doors.
I also feel because of my mother knowing these facts. She still continued to see someone later in her life that also tried to come on to me & when I informed her of this, she also let him come back until my sister found out & then everything came to a head & he was gone!!!!!
But, now that this is behind me, my sister to whom lives in TX now does not call me nor even send me any birthday cards, etc. I think she blames me for the past & how I was back then & cannot accept the fact I have changed & I'm now not only a better person but smarter. She always thought I was dumb along with my sf.
I have been clean & sober since 1996 when I lost my kidneys & was on dialysis for 4-1/2 yrs. After my mother passed in 2009 not only have I not worked but, on disability due to loosing my kidneys again due to stress, anixety & depression.
I see a therapist every other week & go to group meetings every Monday & also see a Phsyco. (head doctor) once a month. He is winging me off of all anxiety medicine & the side effects are tremendous.
Please, this is just a little of what my life has been like & there is more to tell. I cannot empize enough how our mental health is very important for not only our future but ourselves as human beings in general. You can never have enough group meetings nor theraphy.
Replied By: ssoganty on Oct 12, 2014, 3:57PM - In reply to rocket90
It is so sad about your mother's issues.  I would suggest  that she is having signs of dementia.  Paranoia is quite common as well as thinking someone is hiding their stuff, stealing from them, etc.

 I attended a group for "Children of Older Parents, " through the local mental health establishment, which was very helpful to me.  My SIL was having some of the issues you mentioned and I was trying to understand what was going on.  (SIL needed care 24/7 which her family provided for 2 years. Then to a nursing home for one month at age 90, when she died.)

Maybe your local hospital or medical place  could be a starting point to find a group or some info about help for your mom and your family.

Best wishes, ssoganty.

Replied By: rocket90 on Oct 7, 2014, 5:43PM
I am so glad to be watching this show today.  My 78 year mother is having so many emotional & mental problems and my sister(s) and I do not know what to do for her.  She thinks she hears voices.  I am not really sure how much, because I think Mom tries to watch how much she tells us.  For some reason she is focused in on my brother in law, that he is trying to harm her or other family members.  It's gotten to the point where she'll call to ask if so & so is alright & where they are, that we know it's because she is sure that my brother in law or someone has harmed that family member.  She thinks that there are voices in the radio that tell her she has to leave her apartment.  She thinks that people (mostly my brother in law) is trying to get her money or take her things away from her.  We've taken her to see a psychiatrist and she put her on a medication called respidol.  She lived with my husband, daughter & I for over 2 years.  We downsized into a moblie home & mom went to live with my sister & her husband & daughter & grandson. She lived there less then a year.  Mom started thinking my brother in law was spying on her, & putting cameras in her room. She thought he was talking about her & she confronted him on several occasions.  It just got to where everyone was on pins & needles & there was no comfortable time ever in the home because the tension was so horrible.  If Dr. Phil knows of any one that can help us.  We've taken her to get her blood levels checked.  Her medication is unbelieveable in my opinion.  She takes several different kinds.  My mother is a beautiful person. And the best mom to my sisters & I.  She has always been able to help anyone with any problem.  I just want peace for her.  I want to know if there is something my sister & I are missing?  We honestly do not know what else to do.

Thank you,

Robin Reed
Replied By: dswill on Oct 7, 2014, 4:59PM
This is Mental Health week and I'm so glad you are doing this difficult show. My brother lived with bi-polar for over 40 years. He had many of the same issues as this young man. People with mental health issues and their families have few resources other than doctors providing meds and some talk therapy. We need more resources for the person and their families who sometimes live in fear of physical harm.
Replied By: texas57 on Oct 7, 2014, 4:29PM
I know mental illness very well. I grew up with a depressed mother and a brother, who was eventially diagnosed as bi-polar at the age of about 28-30 years of age. He is now 52.  About 5 years ago, he was finally diagnosed with schezophrenia. This was shortly after our mother passed away. He had always lived with my our parents. After they died, he wouldn't talk to me. My mother had asked his counselor, and I use the term loosley, to be his executrix of his inhearance. Because of my brothers anger towards me, this woman agreed. I was angry about this, not because of the money. I just felt it was a conflict of interest on her part. Obviously my instints about this woman were correct, as she did not even let me know when she gave him control of his money.

He refused to let her contact me with any information about his well being. After a short period of time, she got tired of dealing with him and his questions about his money. She finally just handed him the check book and told him she was done. He went through 33,000 dollard in 2 1/2 years. The house he lived in was my mothers and paid for. He didn't know anything about paying bills or anything about taking care of a house. I did not know any of this until he was broke and contacted me.

I sold my mothers house and put the money in an annuity for him. It pays a small amount every month. He is on disability and live in public housing. I feel horrible about the bleak existance he lives. He has been trying to get a job of any kind. Sacking groceries or anything. 

My husband and I  are retired and live in Mexico now. He seems pretty balanced as far as meds go. He does not drink or do any drugs. Watching the young man on todays show was like looking and listening to my brother. So sad. 

Replied By: tryingsohard on Oct 6, 2014, 7:51PM
Up until last year, I’ve spent my entire life feeling like I was swimming in a fog. I was sexually abused at age 8 for about a year. The abuser was my mother’s live-in boyfriend’s teenage son. I never blocked this out, I’ve always carried it with me. My parents divorced when I was about 5, and my 2.5 year older sister and I lived with my mother. My mother was abusive physically and emotionally. I never knew what would “set” my mother off, and was always planning five steps ahead to try and stay out of the line of fire. I resemble my father in looks and mannerisms, and my sister resembles my mother in both. Whenever my mother was angry with my father she would take it out on me. If I acted out or displeased her in any way it was always “you are just like your father!” She was compulsive about house-keeping, our clothes being clean, us “looking” our best all the time. As long as everything was okay on the outside, no one would question what was on the inside. This behavior continues to this day.

After the abuse started, my personality of course changed. I showed all the classic abuse signs, aggression, anger, hostility, depression, changes in school performance, etc. As I aged, other signs showed such as low self-esteem, risky sexual behaviors, knowledge of sex beyond my years, attempted suicide. I ran away, and was very rebellious, lying, stealing, drinking, almost every risky behavior expect drugs. At one time I was sent away to a place called Girls Town USA in West Texas. I suffered abuse from adults and other girls there. Of course now I know I was screaming out for someone to recognize what happened to me, and angry that no one noticed the abuse in the beginning. Both my parents and various relatives would often say “you used to be so sweet and happy, and then you changed.” People saw extreme changes and DID NOTHING! I was never taking for counseling of evaluation of any kind.

I was living with my father and stepmother when my mother, quoting her “can’t stand to have her in my home.” I was 15. By the time I was 16 I was pregnant, turning 17 during the pregnancy. My mother chose to step back in taking me to live again in her home.  After my oldest daughter was born, my mother did not try and help me transition to motherhood. Instead she took over her care, changed the locks, and told everyone what I was unfit to mother my child. In retrospect, someone else caring my daughter was a good thing in that I was still struggling with my, now known, depression, border line bi-polar disorder and PTSD. However, it should not have been my mother.

When my daughter was 15, my mother repeated the same behaviors, and was done with raising her. She came to live with me in Alaska, we struggled getting to know each other, and getting her school and grades back on track. When she was 17, I married again and her sister was born in 2002. The marriage did not last, but my older daughter stayed on track and graduated high school in 2003. As my youngest neared the age of 8, my mental health seemed to change for the worse, sleeping for hours, or not sleeping at all, changes in appetite, etc. I realize now I was reacting to my baby nearing the age where I was abused. At this time I was also enrolled in pre-nursing at the University of Alaska Anchorage. One of my issues was my inability to concentrate and apply myself at school and work. I sought help with at the University’s health and counseling center, and was diagnosed with depression only.

As I moved through my schooling, I became aware that the wait for the nursing program I was getting my pre-reqs for had up to a two-year wait. In May 2013, my mother offered for my daughter and I to move to Alabama. She would buy us a house; she had married very well and could do these things, and help us get settled. The community college here had a shorter waiting period for their program. Unfortunately, the dynamic between being in close proximity to my mother, as a mother myself, with my child was bringing old emotions and hurts to the surface. I tried to brooch the subject of my depression with my mother. I mentioned that I would have to find a new provider for my depression that I was diagnosed with the previous year. Her exact response, delivered with a look of pure disgust, was “Well just stop being depressed! There you go, no doctor needed!” Everything changed after that, she became angry and distant. I had to make excuses to my daughter for the abrupt changes in her Nana.

I sought help at the county mental health center. They had a higher level of help available having both psychiatrists and therapists. My diagnosis was changed from depression to include borderline bi-polar disorder, and PTSD. The first round of drug therapy we tried made me feel “outside” my body, and I truly felt not myself. I even stole money from my employer. The action was caught on tape, I immediately paid it back, and when I tried to explain to my mother it was all about her. “You made me look bad in the community, all I did was try and help you, this is how you repay me, me, me, me.” I immediately went for an emergency session with my therapist. In addition, I asked my father to come from his home to meet with me and my mother. I wanted to put it all on the table, tell them about the abuse, the feelings growing up, and my current therapy. I tried to set the date (this being a Thursday), but my father and stepmother showed up on my doorstep on the following Sunday. Not having contacted me first. My stepmother offered to stay with my daughter and her friend that had stayed to night, while we went to my mother’s house. When I arrived, my sister and brother-in-law were there. I did not ask for them to be there, and the information I shared up to that point with my parents was shared with them, and the rest of my family, without my permission. I’m a firm believer of “if it’s not your story, don’t tell it.” My BIL was on the phone with the local suicide hotline and was firing questions at me such as “Who is your the therapist? When did you start therapy?” I was stunned that he was even there, much less probing into my personal business. He hung up with them, and then addressed my sister and parents, totally ignoring me as he spoke of me in the third person. “Well, they won’t do anything unless she’s a threat to herself. I told them there was a child involved, but since she’s not suicidal they won’t come take her.”  They had no freaking clue what was going on, but were trying to have my committed! The end result was, they didn’t believe I was in therapy because the name I gave them for my emergency visit is one of the child psychologists. I tried to explain to them that anyone can do and emergency intake, and did they think I just made the name up and happened to be right? My mother turned that phone call into telling others that the mental health clinic had never heard of me, and didn’t have me as a patient. 1.) They were not talking to the clinic on a Sunday afternoon; they were talking to a crisis hotline. 2.) Even if they had contacted the clinic, HIPA laws would prevent them from giving out ANY information. After that I sat on the same couch as my sister and BIL, and they immediately moved to the other side of the room where my parents were. I told the whole story starting from when I was eight. By the end of the telling, I was a sobbing blubbering mess. I completely thought my family would stand behind me trying to get better, instead I was floored. I was interrogated “why didn’t I tell anyone?” “why didn’t my sister know or see anything?” “why, why, why…” It was completely turned into being my fault.

I’m exhausted just with this much. There is so much more, my mother attacking me as a liar, even stating via message to my best friend that “if she had sex at 8, it was her decision; no one made her do it.” The end result was my mother and sister getting on the phone with my ex, giving him miss-information that lead to him not sending my daughter back after spring break and moving for full custody.  When I first moved into the house I chose, my mother said not to put it in my name yet as the taxes in December (which I paid) would be lower as she’s a senior citizen. So we waited, and she mentioned several more times that we needed to go put it in my name. All this come down on Valentines’ day, and we never put the home in my name. She is now evicting me. I have no cash, no collateral, and my child has been torn from me. I thought I was doing the right thing, owning all my mistakes, and making moves towards improving my mental and physical health.  What I thought was one of the best decisions of my life, has become the worst.
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