Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Letter from a Grateful Parent to a News Reporter

Editor’s note: The Los Angeles Times recently published a story about NAMI’s new national board president, Keris Myrick. The reporter, Anna Gorman, has since received many comments from readers. Here is one of them.

Dear Anna,

Thank you so much for your article featuring Keris Myrick and her accomplishments in the face of mental illness.

I have a son, age 23, who was diagnosed bipolar with schizophrenic episodes and it has been one of the most difficult challenges of my role as parent. Since this is so new for me—he had a breakdown at college last November and has been hospitalized five times since then— my hope continues for him when I read articles like yours that feature someone who has dealt with the challenge and stigma of mental illness and has forged on to function very well, in my opinion, to lead a very productive life.

My son has yet to come to terms with his illness, only recognizing that he sometimes gets depressed and because of his holistic approach to life and natural eating, doesn't like to take the medications prescribed. I have become very familiar with NAMI and have taken their Family-to-Family course, which I highly recommend, to help me be more educated and understanding of its effects on those who live with mental illness.

I want to praise you and the L.A. Times for featuring articles like this to help with the stigma and education on the subject. I think that this article, with the works of other groups like NAMI and actresses like Glenn Close and her work with Bring Change 2 Mind, only help bring attention to one of the most devastating illnesses to strike families.

I am one most grateful parent and NAMI activist. I'm currently trying to step up to the plate as I have become a Team Captain for our local NAMI Walk to help the cause.

Blessings to you and a big THANK YOU!!! 
Cindie Bassett, L.M.T.


Anonymous said...

God bless you and your son. There are many like us. Faith, hope and love.

cgedney said...

Thank you for the hope! I give the f up!

Anonymous said...

I deal with the mental health systems of Oregon. namely used to be Called open gate my son is quit difficult to deal with and instead of finding a way to deal with him they tell him to go sleep under a bridge and live on the street' i thought these people werwe here to help these people. to me they are signing his death certificate.

Christopher Weeping said...

My wife has the same diagnosis as your son. Remember, we can only give of what we have. Take times of respite. Find areas of oasis. God says "come all who are thirsty and heavy burdened and I will give you rest".

Janet said...

I am thinking of you and your son and hoping for his healing and recovery. As a parent of a son who suffered from severe OCD, I can so relate to your anguish. Please don't lose hope.....there are better days ahead.

Anonymous said...

I, too am the mom of a bipolar son, my wish is for all mothers to form an alliance to put pressure on NIMH and research fundraisers to try to discover the cause of this problem. Only then will effective treatments be developed. Your son, like many mental illness sufferers is probably resisting the medications because of the intolerable side effects. If only the drug companies are doing the research, we know what the "cure" will be.Psychotherapy is important too. I pray each night for moms like us and I encourage you to write as many letters as you have time for, it's a therapeutic for me to be able to articulate my beliefs and to communicate with government agencies, researchers, the media, etc. to call attention to this dilemma. You're in my thoughts as are all the parents, I've met through NAMI>

Anonymous said...

There is no shame in mental illness , as we know it today a chemical imbalance of the brain, how shamefully is that!!!

Remember take your meds for life,

Anonymous said...

i am a father of a medical student 25 years who got schizophrenia and how much had affected his graduation . Due to reading NAMI articles we are getting hope and consolidated , god bless NAMI and their paticipants