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  • Mental illness, Drug and Alcohol Addiction and Homelessness go hand in hand… I had to put this out there… and, I will be lobbying for changes in the fragmentation of our mental health system… it is far more than broken, it is a horrible tragedy, a train wreck…a disgrace, taking place in our society and there have got to be some answers to address this.  When we have a problem with any other organ in our bodies, there happens to be far more readily available resources to access treatments…. NOT SO when it comes to the ‘mind’… there are so many stigma’s attached to having a mental illness…. WHY IS THIS!!!!!  I could not count the numbers of times I have taken a battering ram to the doors of every system supposedly designed to help my son find some semblance of peace in his mind, only to wind up holding onto him ever tighter as he fell again and again through the cracks. Ultimately, I could not tie a big enough knot to the end of that rope that he could hold onto, he grew so weary …

This past couple of months my son was finally properly diagnosed and treatment began with supposedly ‘proper’ medications and an outpatient counseling plan set into action, that might have worked, had there been a good amount of time involved in intensive in-patient help, first… but he was put back out of the very walls that were ‘supposed’ to keep him safe and treat his illness until he had the right tools and coping skills to see him safely back into a world that tests even the sanest man on a daily basis. My heart broke, along with his spirit, as I watched him become more and more fragmented and sadly slipping further and further away from a reality where everyone who loved and cared for him were trying to stay on his team. His own perception of his reality sucked… and that puts it mildly…HOW LOUD MUST WE BE TO GET THE HELP THAT IS NEEDED! My son had choices, and he would have/DID ‘chose’ to be well, but what he needed most was just not there for him.
He loved life, loved his children, his family, his friends, his work, with passion, he wanted what we all want… but, choosing to be well, mentally, and having the ability to follow through to become so are 2 entirely different things in regards to mental illness. My understanding, from the accident report, is that my son ran out in front of a van that was going 50 mph. (investigation is ongoing at this time…) but, After a billion attempts to quiet his own anxiety and remove the darkness that became like a shroud over his very very dark existence, he may have beat his demons on his own… my son is now gone from me in this lifetime. WE lost a beautiful heart, a very talented man, a son, a father, an uncle, brother, cousin, nephew, grand son, friend, neighbor… I will advocate for changes in this broken system  with every breath I take until there comes such a time that we treat mental illness as assertively and if need be as aggressively as we would treat cardiac, respiratory, hepatic, nervous system, renal, digestive, immune system, musculoskeletal, reproductive, endocrine…etc diseases.

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