Monday, July 23, 2007

A "roller coaster ride" that you hope never makes the news

Families of the most severely mentally ill individuals share some unique experiences.

“Advocates refer to it as the family roller coaster - a terrifying, heart- wrenching ride that leaves people frustrated and exhausted.”

When you love someone who suffers periodic relapses of a severe mental illness, it can sometimes feel like you are on a roller coaster. When your loved one is doing well and things are on the upswing, you have to keep your emotions in check because you never know when things might head downhill again.

And then there is this experience that many TAC families will recognize:

"Families who have members with mental illness read the paper differently than other people. We're always scanning between the lines - here's a family suffering as we did, caught unawares, doing what they thought was right. And it wasn't enough."