I’m finally at the end stage of my first book, Renewal Of The Mind; The Upside To Mental Illness. Pregnant with it for two years, I can’t wait to give birth! My son was diagnosed a Paranoid Schizophrenic almost 11 years ago and his breakdown was the genesis of my own mental shift. An upside (of many shared) in my life, of this debilitating disease, was my decision to place myself in a better financial position by eliminating debt (which I was married too and drowning in). Along with the stress and fear of the unknown, mental illness can also create a financial burden. At $200.00 per week, his medication was the equivalent to my mortgage and had the potential to bankrupt me had I been responsible for payment. I followed Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball, working two to three jobs for 7 years and gave debt a black eye (accomplished in 2015!). Although reprieves are possible, there is no cure for schizophrenia so I knew I needed to plan ahead.
At the end of my story, I’d like to share ideas for upgrades to our mental illness system. For example, a major pet peeve is that the family has no say in the treatment unless the client fills out a release of information. Of course, they have to think something is wrong with them in order to do that, so odds are against it. When my son was positive he was Jesus and I the Virgin Mary (I was honored, lol), I was still turned away by the system when trying to force him into treatment. He has to be a danger to himself or others, which basically means someone has to get hurt first (something isn’t quite right here). If you’ve ever wondered why the parents didn’t stop the massacres their children committed, it’s simply because we have no power once the client is over 18. It’s extremely frustrating to watch your child unravel and there’s nothing you can do but wait (in prayer if you are a believer) until they hit the pavement. My prayers also asked that no one is with him when he lands! My son and the support group in his head flat out refused treatment and I was outvoted 3 to 1! I was told he has rights, I don’t, but lucky me, I’m allowed to pay his medical bills!
Whether you’ve been touched directly (most know someone with a mental illness as even depression falls under that umbrella), indirectly (friend or family member suffered at the hands of a mentally ill person), or think not at all, please share your ideas which I will include with mine. Mental illness has the potential to touch and end the lives of anyone each time they leave the false security of home behind. That makes it a societal problem and it will take a community, maybe more, to change our current system which is as dysfunctional as the clients they serve! I aspire to be a part of the solution, not someone who simply bitches about the problem. Will you join me?