FAMILY TESTIMONIES

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SUSAN

 My life living with a husband with a mental illness was one where I was always doubting myself.  His diagnosis is bipolar and now he has dementia.  One day I could do something and it was ok and do the same thing the next day and it was wrong. He would have outbursts, going through our lives like a tornado leaving those of us in his path emotional wrecks.  Within an hour he acted like nothing had happened. 

KELLY

I have a sister that is Bi-Polar and a son that is Bi-Polar who became an addict trying to self medicate. There has been some trouble with the law and would love to see our Mentally ill be treated as such vs. hardened criminals. The homeless epidemic is just one of the many things that need to be fixed in our society, but a very good start to open up the average Joe's eyes. 

LAURA

 I have a family member who was initially diagnosed schizophrenic. He was later diagnosed Manic-Depressive, which is now called Bipolar. I did not realize at the time as I was young, but it really caused insanity in my home and not from the one diagnosed. My mother specifically had a really hard time detaching herself from him and his illness and it wouldn't be until much later in my life how much that affected me at the time. 

Kerry

  I have a family member with SMI. The diagnosis has ranged from schizophrenia, schizo-affective disorder, depression, PSTD, and more. I feel like my connection with it ebbs and flows but when it flows, it is disturbing and challenging. I want to help him and any others that I can. Everyone deserves some happiness, love, and safety.  

MARNIE

I was diagnosed with schizophrenia about 25 years ago. The mental health system has labeled me different things along the way but schizoaffective disorder is the one that has seemed most accurate and has stayed. My parents have helped/supported/enabled sometimes and taken care of me so I've been blessed not to be homeless...yet. It's one of my biggest fears. I'm able to function pretty well and work when I don't have symptoms but when I'm going through a med change I get paranoid, delusional and can't even make eye contact let alone conversation...so I lose my job and most times end up in the mental hospital.