Tag Archive | Mental Health

Medical Advances

Obviously there have been many miraculous advances in medicine in general.  Today I am grateful for the availability that we have to access those advances.  My family suffers from multiple mental health issues.  While much of the research is still in its infancy, we are a lot further along than we were even 20 years ago.  I am preparing to attend a full day workshop to learn how to manage the effects of these illnesses.  I am excited for the information that will be available to me.

Improvement

Yesterday I saw real, concrete improvement in my child that I have wanted to give up on for almost two years.  It has come following some help from some medication, so I am definitely grateful for that miracle.   The prodigal son is not yet returning, and the mental illness has not disappeared, but even a small, positive change is a relief.   I think I actually spent about half a day with the person who was the son I knew.  Tender mercy.

I have been holding on to two quotes from the most recent conference.  Thought I’d share those.

Believe in miracles.

I have seen so many of them come when every other indication would say that hope was lost.

Hope is never lost.

Holland

Those living in sorrow, despairing at the possibility of children being rescued from where the world has taken them, must never give up.

Be not afraid, only believe.”6

Righteousness is more powerful than wickedness.

– Packer

Advocacy

I decided to help celebrate National Mental Health Awareness month.  Didn’t realize I would spend most of Monday advocating for an individual to get the mental health treatment they needed, and part of today helping another access a mental health grant.  I actually quoted this talk to convince the consumer yesterday to accept help.  He especially was able to relate to the statement that you would treat a broken arm or appendicitis with the best medical care possible, and that we need to do the same with our mental health.   🙂 Anyhow, thought I’d share Elder Holland’s talk from Saturday.  It was great timing.  Click on the link below to watch the entire talk.  Tomorrow I’m going to be contacting our local library system to inform them that their collection of consumer and family focused mental health literature is practically non-existent, and present them with a list of some of the more nationally recognized books that they do not carry.  Some days it is our job to be our own miracles.

 

Elder Holland

 

Mental Health Awareness Ribbon

Mental Health Awareness Ribbon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

Apostles and Prophets

A few months ago I had an interesting experience.  We were right in the middle of dealing with a serious mental health crisis with my son.  As we were dealing with this particular issue, we found out that Pres. Jeffry R. Holland was coming to visit our ward.  It would be a short visit and he would be very busy, but I wondered about the timing.  If I really believed that he was an apostle of God, as were the apostles at the time of Christ, could he help our family?  Throughout the scriptures are stories of children and families being healed by Christ and the apostles.  I knew that I love my child every bit as much as the parents in ancient times, and I knew that I needed help.  Was help being sent?  Did I have enough faith to receive help?  I had many questions about how to help my son that needed answering, that my local leaders were unable to address sufficiently.

 

I did a lot of praying and a lot of fasting.  I didn’t know exactly what type of help I needed.  I was not sure exactly what to pray for.  I prayed that if there was any way that this apostle could help our family that we would have enough faith to receive that help.  I was told that my prayers had been heard, and that it was taken care of.  The visit came and went.  I had no direct interaction with President Holland.  We attended a dinner with him, my son declined to attend, but we brought others to join us.  As far as I knew, my son avoided any potential contact the same way he has continued to avoid all potential help.  Still, I was at peace that my prayers had been heard and accepted.

 

This last weekend was LDS General Conference weekend.  The incident over the summer was pretty much out of my mind.  Then Elder Holland stepped up to speak.  He opened his talk by stating that he was going to address those dealing with serious mental health problems.  He then proceeded to answer all of my questions that truly needed answering.  It was a direct answer to my personal prayers and I can not question that the Lord heard and answered my prayers this summer.

 

View of Conference Center spire taken from sou...

View of Conference Center spire taken from south of the Center on North Temple St., Salt Lake City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Friendship

I am at a rather strange place in my life where I have decided I need all new friends.  Or at least to reconnect with old friends again.  As I look back at my week there were four people who did more to help me this week than any of my “friends” have this entire summer.  Three were old friends who we don’t cross paths as often any more, and one is a person I had only met once before.  I think friendship is something that I have taken for granted too often.  A friend who goes out of their way to see how you are doing is a blessing that can too easily be dismissed.   When we find a good friend who can support and help us, and we can return the favor, I think that qualifies as a miracle.

 

Reflection

Thursday:

Spent some time to search the internet for solutions to my son’s problems.  I have heard and felt for so long that there is no hope.  Finally found a very Christlike program that may just be the answer I have been looking for.  Hope is a wonderful thing.  Started to rebuild strained relationships immediately.

Friday:

I got annoyed with a neighbor Friday morning who was so preoccupied with his own problems that he didn’t even acknowledge my own concerns.  A few hours later I realized that although neither of us realized it at the time, his problem may actually be the answer to mine.  I need to step back a little sometimes!

Direction and Protection

We’ve had a rough week this week.  It has not been a week that anyone would consider miraculous by any stretch of the imagination.  What I can say though, is that each trauma, each disappointment, has worked out the best it possibly could given the circumstances.  The promise never was that there would be no disappointments or heartaches.  The promise instead is that we would be guided and directed through them if we trust in our Savior.

My oldest son has been in a cycle of poor choices, disgusting behavior, serious depression and mental health issues, and a general inability to function.  Sunday he basically ran away from home again.  There is nothing pleasant about any of that.  However, I can see the Lord’s hand in each step of the way, both for us and for him.  I will give some specific examples of what I mean.

  • As we were developing a plan to help him start functioning better, we realized he would need to leave the home.  The last step we were hung up on was on how and when to actually kick him out.  An hour after the decision had been made that we needed to act that day, he announced his intention to leave and become homeless.  Same result, but there is no question that we were not the bad guys.
  • Homeless shelter the next town over (his choice), was full and he spent a night on the street.  Ended up being the best thing he could have experienced.  It was a tiny wake up call, but we live in an exceptionally safe area.  There are no really bad areas of town, even around the homeless shelter.  (In reality, the most serious danger he was in was probably from the 100+ weather that we have.)  Where else can you be turned away from the homeless shelter carrying an expensive laptop and new cell phone and come away from the experience without any theft or incident?  The plans I had come up with would never have been that drastic, but he really needed at least that much.
  • Although he will not be returning home, he has made arrangements to stay for a while a few blocks down the street.  He is not in a place I would have lined up for him, and quite frankly not a place he would have thought of.  It was interesting how that particular decision was made, but the more I think about it, I can not think of a better place for his overall development.
  • Our home has been so much happier the last few days.  We are all disappointed and a little traumatized by the way things played out, but everyone here is more at peace.

Anyway, thanks for everyone’s prayers.  I know they have worked mini-miracles in his life already.

Running

Our new pet has become a blessing to yet another child.  Our oldest son is supposed to be working on getting in shape, but is having some trouble with the motivation.  He decided he wants to go for a daily run, so we assigned him to walk the dog daily.  That was too much work, so he refused to accept the daily assignment, reserving the right to only walk the dog when he felt like it.  Unfortunately for him, the young dog doesn’t know when he is assigned to walk with him or not.  He has started begging for a walk.  He begs my son, and begs, and begs until my boy gives in.  He then heads off on a good trot and my son is getting his workout if he feels like it or not!

Growth

I’m not sure we really understand growth on any level, so that is why it is my miracle for today.  I watch my “baby” outgrow his clothes, and learn to read, and get along with others, and I stand in awe.  I’ve not heard a really good, scientific explanation of how our body knows how to grow where, and how fast.  Physically, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, we all grow and develop constantly.  How do we do this?  We understand it is a part of life, everything around us grows – it is a sign of life itself, yet we can not control it or create it.  When we plant something we can provide the conditions for growth, but then the best we can do is stand back and watch.

Yesterday my six year old spent several hours crying due to growing pains.  She also went through pain as she lost a baby tooth, allowing for her larger, adult tooth to come in properly.  As I watch growth around me, I can learn that growth of all types involves pain, stretching, and a better result at the end.  Couldn’t growth be categorized as God directing our paths to something larger and better than before?