Sharon tells her story of how mental illness affected her family
“Other people look at the person that’s got the illness and say “but there’s nothing wrong with them”, and then you try and explain it and they go, “but she is never like that” and you go “you don’t see what’s behind closed doors”.
It’s not knowing what to do about it, like when you first have an outburst or if she still has one now, it’s how do you handle it? It’s just trying to work out the best way of dealing with it, you know, not dealing with it, because I don’t want to give her medication, so the best way of handling it is in a calm way and try and diffuse the situation I suppose.
It is very important to get help if you can get it – very important because then you can find someone else that is not family, that is not judgemental but can understand where you are coming from. It’s so important to be able to go and have another outlet of people to talk to.
You then learn that you’ve got to look after yourself to help look after the person you are caring for. I make sure I take some time out, as much as I can. Go and find someone, talk to someone, just get as much help as you can.
HelpingMinds has been such a great help as it is somewhere I can go and vent, I can go and laugh, I can access resources to help me. HelpingMinds has made me realise that it is not just about the person that’s got an illness it’s also about yourself and about other family members that need help as well. Learn new tricks and just walk away with a lot of new information and it just empowers you to just go “ok I can handle this”.