There can be a silence among families (particularly intergenerationally) about mental illness.
Sometimes that’s done out of a sense of embarrassment or a well meaning desire to maintain privacy.
What it achieves are walls that mean when later generations experience mental illness they feel isolated in that it doesn’t always occur to them that their experience is a biological one shared with their family.
Rather it seems that they’re the odd one out.
Friends, the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. Knowing your parents and grand-parents struggle with mental illness doesn’t have to be an inescapable destiny, but it can help ground your own struggles (or the struggles of your children) is a wider context that opens doors of understanding and empathy.
This article, which appeared on The Upward Call observes the benefit of sharing your own mental illness stories with your children, and for families to acknowledge the mental illness experience of preceding generations.
This calls for sensitivity, nuance, and openness.
The concluding thought:
It’s lonely to struggle with anxiety and depression. I can testify to that. I was in God’s word daily; sometimes hourly. There were nights when I couldn’t sleep and I poured over the Psalms and the gospels. I credit that with keeping me from completely falling apart. But it didn’t cure things instantly. And I am thankful that I know about our family history. As a mother, it has helped me to discuss things with my children, and to be observant and attentive. We need to talk about mental illness. But more than that, we need kindness and compassion. And we definitely don’t need simplistic remedies that betray ignorance.
Read the whole post at The Upward Call.