I am the family member of a person who has lived with schizophrenia for approximately 45 years, and most recently she began exhibiting early signs of dementia, which seems to make her condition worse.
She oftentimes relapses because at certain intervals in life she stops taking her medication, which causes her major setbacks with regard to her mental health.
During the early years of the illness I was never exposed to the roller coaster ride the disease brought on. However, most recently due to her constant relapses, I have seen the illness manifest in unusual and unexpected ways.
Although, I try to be a source of help and moral support, I am oftentimes met with violent outbursts, hostility and aggressive behavior. There are times when I have to endure verbal and emotional abuse which makes it difficult for me to administer supervision and monitoring in a comfortable manner.
As a healthcare practitioner I try to use certain mechanisms so that the patient feels safe, comfortable and secure, however when the illness takes hold the situation often escalates out of control. At times, negotiating and trying to be understanding does not work and this is the most frustrating part of this disease. Because even though you have good intentions and the tools to help, there are times when it just isn’t enough.
Attaining Mental Health is a constant battle for this person. It stretches those who care beyond their boundaries. Each day ,friends, family members and care givers can only hope that through prayer and consistent concern there will be relief in sight for all involved.