Unplanned Chaos…

Our family (minus our son) recently took a vacation to Orlando Florida. I had everything planned out. This was suppose to be EPIC for us. I got so comfortable in my planning that I hadn’t factored in anything going wrong. I mean how could it? I had covered everything from what we were going to eat, to what day and times we were going places, and even left time in the schedule for misc events. Oh, but I left out the thought of an EPISODE. Jaime had a horrible EPISODE that shook up the family and trip. There was crying, pacing, threats of hurting herself, threats of her running off, accusations of no one caring for her, just pure chaos. Some of the kids didn’t know that Jaime was having some mental health issues so needless to say the cat was out of the bag jumping and scratching. In hind sight I wish I would’ve made it known to all the kids what Jaime had been going through because we were bombarded with questions of how did she get like that, did anyone do her something, and WHY we didn’t tell them.

Information and education on mental health should be discussed among families. Honestly, I was hiding it from the other kids. I figured it wasn’t their problem. I now know that it is all of our problem. In order for them to understand what Jaime is going through and be able to assist and show compassion they needed to know. After educating myself on depression & anxiety I’m sad to say that i did everything wrong when trying to deescalate an episode. Education is KEY in overcoming and coping with any mental illness.

One moment in time….

Pictures are just one still moment in time, it doesn’t depict the seconds, minutes, hours, days, months or years that you don’t see. In that one still moment of time you may see happiness, sadness, sorrow, excitement, fear etc. So, often times what you think you see in those still moments is not an accurate reflection of the chaos that’s actually going on on the inside. You don’t get to see the turn of events that can be triggered at any given time. I say all that to say living with anxiety and caring for someone with depression is not easy and things are subject to change at any given second, minute, hours or days.

Helping Yourself

Leading a balanced lifestyle can help you manage symptoms of depression. Here are some suggestions from people who have lived experience with depression:

Learn all you can. Learn about the many treatment options available. Connect with other people experiencing depression in support groups or meetings. Attend local conferences and conventions. Build a personal library of useful websites and helpful books.

Recognize early symptoms. Depression often has warning signs, such as a low mood, feeling fatigued or having trouble sleeping. Discuss your friend or family member’s past episodes with them to help them improve their ability to recognize the signs early.

CommunicateSpeak honestly and kindly. Don’t scold or blame people with depression or urge them to “try harder” to “just be happy.” Instead, make specific offers of help and follow through with those offers. Tell the person you care about them. Ask them how they feel and truly listen.

React calmly and rationally. Even if your family member or friend is in a crisis, it’s important to remain calm. Listen to their concerns and make them feel understood—then take the next step toward getting help.

Find emotional support from others. Share your thoughts, fears and questions with other people who have loved ones with similar conditions. Connect with others through online message boards or NAMI peer-education programs.

– Hope

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