Mental illness Destroys

I am torn.

Truly torn.

What is a parent to do?

There are no good options here for us trying to love 2 children, one with severe mental illness. I have 2 children. I love 2 children.

Mental illness destroys families.

It does it every day.

Mental illness kills dreams.

It does it every day.

Mental illness is NOT fair.

I see that every day.

Mental illness kills people

Every day

My son, now 18, legally and adult, has been plagued with multiple and untreatable mental illness all his life. That, in turn, means our family has lived in almost constant chaos, uncertainty and hell for that entire time as well.  As his parents, my husband and I know we have to care for him, and lovingly do so. When stable he is a sweet, loving, caring boy. Unfortunately the stability never lasts long. His mood swings are constant, his rages frequent, the stress and heartache it causes us all is never-ending. The thing is….it’s not his fault. He can’t help how he acts. And HE hates his behavior and actions worse than anyone.

He is tortured by himself.

We are at the point now that our daughter, his sister, is suffering. Suffering. Struggling. Angry. Resentful.

Angry she doesn’t have a normal brother.

Angry she doesn’t have a normal family.

Angry friends can’t come over because her brother is raging or unstable.

Angry at life.


I don’t blame her.

She doesn’t deserve this either.

We are now faced with  “its him or me”

She says….” it’s him or me”

put him out, send him away, call the cops, or I am leaving, she’s had it, we all have.

I can’t blame her.

She deserves peace.

She can’t find it here.

But, where can we send him? He hasn’t broken any laws. He can’t support himself. He is still in school. He is unstable. The hospitals have no beds.

There is no good option.

He is our child, a lovely boy, the real boy is the most loving child you could ever meet. If we can just get him stable. If we can find the right mix of medication. If


But, when unstable,he is someone else. Someone no one likes. Someone who drives everyone away.

It’s not his fault. His mind is the enemy.

Mental illness kills, destroys, leaves a path of destruction.

It’s not fair

** I realize mental illness does not affect all victims this way, this is OUR experience. Many people with mental illness are treated successfully and enjoy life without complications.

The Misunderstood Child

I found this many years ago, and it simply made me cry. It was as if my Zack had written it himself. We, society can not understand behavior that they can not SEE manifesting in a brain. We see bad, unacceptable behavior and assume this is a bad child or a bad person, when sometimes that assumption can not be farther from the truth.

Me and my sweet, and misunderstood boy, Zack

Me and my sweet, and misunderstood boy, Zack

The Misunderstood Child

I am the child that looks healthy and fine.
I  was born with ten fingers and toes.
But something is different. somewhere in  my mind.
And what it is nobody knows.

I am the child that struggles  at school,
Though they say that I’m perfectly smart.
They tell me I’m  lazy-can learn if I try-
But I don’t seem to know where to start.

I  am the child that won’t wear the clothes
which hurt me or bother my feet.
I dread sudden noises, can’t handle most smells,
And tastes there are few  foods I will eat.

I am the child that can’t catch the ball
And runs  with an awkward gait.
I am the one chosen last on the team
And I cringe as  I stand there and wait.

I am the child with whom know one will play-
The one that gets bullied and teased.
I try to fit in and I want to be  liked,
But nothing I do seems to please.

I am the child that tantrums  and freaks
Over things that seem petty and trite.
You’ll never know how I  panic inside,
When I’m lost in my anger and fright.

I am the child  that fidgets and squirms
Though I’m told to sit still and be good.
Do you  think that I choose to be out of control?
Don’t you know that I would if I  could?

I am the child with the broken heart
Though I act like I don’t  really care.
Perhaps there’s a reason God made me this way-
Some message  he sent me to share.

For I am the child that needs to be loved
And  accepted and valued too.
I am the child that is misunderstood,
I am  different-but look just like you.

Author – Kathy Winters

From Euphoria to Rage

Page 10

     I can understand how someone can give up when they live day in and day out seeing nothing but gloom and sadness and feeling there is no way out. Who would want to live everyday feeling so sad, so helpless and hopeless? I just pray my Zack will never feel that way. I pray each day that new and better medication will come along to help these people. I have been depressed, deeply depressed, but never to the point of wanting to end my life. I just think that would be such pain, to feel life is so difficult the only way to feel better is to just be gone.

I pray he will have a joyful and happy life, the one he deserves, the one everyone deserves.

While at the beach Zack’s behavior became increasingly bizarre (while on the Neurontin). He seemed euphoric, almost like his feet did not even touch the ground, running around, jumping constantly. While fishing on the shore one day he would run up to strangers walking on the beach and bring them over to look at the baby sharks we had caught. He ran to everyone screaming “hey, come here, come look at my sharks”.




Then he began have several “mini rages” a day, he would start screaming for no reason, four or five episodes a day. Needless to say tensions were very high with my parents vacationing with us, knowing, or at least feeling like my father thought my son was the most unruly, undisciplined child in the world, and in need of a really good spanking. The final breaking point came one evening when he was playing with his sister, and by accident, truly, he bumped her on the head, she began to cry, and Zack left the house in tears. I followed and he said “mom, hurt me.” to which I replied “Why would I do that? I don’t want to hurt you.”


Depression Cycle



He insisted “just hurt me, maybe it will get all the meanness out of me. I know you want to kill me.” At this time, my heart breaking I knew how sick he was. He had never said such words to me, never said anything concerning death or wanting to die. He was inconsolable, hysterical with tears flowing like I had never seen. He began to focus on a dog that we had to give away several months prior, he begged for the dog back, claiming how much he had missed him, that the dog was his best friend (he had rarely played with the dog). The only way my husband and I could calm him down was to promise Zack another puppy when we got home. The next day, I called Dr. Y and informed him I would be discontinuing the Neurontin, it was making my son a basket case, and instead we would try the all natural route to mood stabilization that I read about in the book. All of the medications seemed to be wreaking havoc on my son, on his mind and his body, at the time he was five years old.

     As we promised, upon our return home from the beach we promptly looked through our local classified ads in search of a puppy. We found an ad for some mixed breed pups and Zack and his dad were soon in the car to bring our new family member home. Zack was so proud to get home with HIS new puppy. He named her Maxine. Maxine was a cute solid white puppy, skinny with a long tail. He named her Maxine because he had intended to get a boy dog and had picked the name Max (for Max Steele, one of his action heroes), but since Max turned out to be a girl she became Maxine. He was so happy, so proud, every bit the new father. Zack loves animals, especially dogs; he would have 100 if we allowed it. (cont)

Maxine (top) and her brother Deuce