advertisement

Mental Illness in the Family

Nicola Spendlove
It can be difficult to strike the balance between respecting a family member's right to confidentiality about their diagnosis, and recognizing your own need to vent. Here's how I handle this tricky issue.
Nicola Spendlove
Explaining a family member's diagnosis to others can be scary because you never know how they're going to react. Sometimes it works out really well. For example, my fiancé couldn't be more understanding of my brother's chronic mental illness. Not only is he accepting of the way this affects our family's lives, he is also proactive in thinking of ways that we can better support my brother. Not everyone is like this, though, which is why explaining a family member's mental health diagnosis to others can be so challenging.
Nicola Spendlove
My brother recently expressed his fear that mental illness has made him a burden on our family. This completely broke my heart, and I was pained to tell him that it isn't true. If you need to hear that message too, let me remind you today -- mental illness does not make you a burden.
Nicola Spendlove
I've been learning in therapy that so many of the things I've accepted as "fact" all my life are actually subjective beliefs passed down from my family. I loved the challenge my therapist set me this week of deconstructing my family's beliefs on various topics, including mental health.
Nicola Spendlove
Family expectations can be draining for a lot of reasons. Depending on what kind of family you come from, there’s a whole bunch of different unwritten rules about the types of lives we “should” live. My brother’s mental illness challenged our family expectations in a major way, and when I reflect on it I see that he changed our family culture for the better.
Alixzandria Paige
There is nothing that causes a flare-up of my anxiety quite like having to say goodbye. It feels like the worst thing in the world I could do is to give up a good opportunity, but sometimes in life, I have to take a risk. This article is going to be about how I diminish the anxiety I feel when I have to say goodbye.
Nicola Spendlove
Defining your role in mental health support can be tricky in a family situation, especially if you have some sort of professional healthcare background. I had recently qualified as an occupational therapist, and when my brother was diagnosed with chronic anxiety and depression, I put a lot of pressure on myself to be more than just a sister because of that. I wish I could take that back.
Alixzandria Paige
I was raised by parents with mental illness. My mother has been diagnosed with a few mental illnesses, and if my father had not passed away at such a young age, he would have been diagnosed as well. Due to this circumstance, I was raised under certain conditions that others were not exposed to. This article is intended to bring attention to some of the characteristics in the childhood of an individual raised by parents with mental illness.
Nicola Spendlove
I feel a growing responsibility to normalize mental health discussions outside of dedicated platforms, such as this blog. For people like my brother who live with chronic mental illness to exist stigma-free, we need to demystify the topic of mental illness in the wider community.
Alixzandria Paige
A family is comprised of a group of individuals, so it's no wonder there are going to be disagreements now and again. However, in my family, some disagreements have a way of becoming a family meltdown that can cause rifts and a lot of tension between all the members. Here is a guide to surviving a family meltdown.