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Thread: MINDS ON THE EDGE: Facing Mental Illness

  1. #16
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    Re: MINDS ON THE EDGE: Facing Mental Illness

    Oh I wanted to add that I am glad you are in the church group you are in and have this kind of insight...even my sister's other two with bipolar and high IQ's don't have this kind of insight...not even close. They truly see what they want to see.

    If you are interested...here is the thread that explains more in detail what we are dealing with...maybe you can offer some ideas? If you want. http://bibleforums.org/showthread.ph...sources-please

    Welcome to the board by the way.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  2. #17

    Re: MINDS ON THE EDGE: Facing Mental Illness

    I am offering my own experiences in hope that they are helpful. I cannot advise you on what to do-mostly because I do not know you very well and don't want to give bad advice. Please read the whole post. I have certainly faced all kinds of trouble in my young life (legal, academic, relationship) trouble can be putting it lightly sometimes honestly (I have stood in front of judges, psychiatrists, and academic deans many many times ) However I am blessed with a very high IQ, and a very good education (religious and academic) and am what would be considered high functioning. And in my early years of life I had very good parenting. So I have a much greater ability to advocate and negotiate for myself than many people who have faced similar situations. Also several relatives of mine (and close friends) have significant mental conditions and I've seen their lives be awful so I do have a lot of experience with this. I want to just share a quick story. For 1 year I worked part-time in a home for girls who were wards of the state. They had very serious problems. What they responded to more than anything was love, respect and honesty. Many were on meds. Many did very destructive things to themselves and others. All of them responded immediately when spoken to with love respect and honesty (they often had to be physically restrained to prevent harm). One little girl would not bathe because of trauma so she smelled most of the time. I bought her a simple cosmetic bath kit for $5.00 and she was willing to give bathing a try. Another girl would literally destroy things so she had to sit alone for long periods (not to punish her simple practicality). She was about 8 years old. I noticed that no one ever visited with her when she would sit for those long periods. So one day when she was sitting alone (after having shaved her own eyebrows off) I stood just outside the room and asked her directly with real respect and genuine curiosity "why do you behave so badly?" And she said "I don't even know. I just get upset" I listened her to just talk for a long time. After that she destroyed less. I could go on with a year's worth of examples but I think you get it. What most people will never admit is what they do not know. No one really knows how to deal with mental illness or there wouldn't be any because they would know how to eliminate it. All they know at this point is how to manage symptoms not how to cure. Don't put yourself in harm's way. But consider that you know at least as much as the doctor because you spend a lot of time with him. When they deal with young adults and mental illness they ask the family for input about what the person's behavior is like (My first psychiatric treatments were when I was I was an adolescent so this is based on experience). Some people do not receive any help until they are a danger to themself or others. At that point I would suggest prayer because I believe they remain in God's hands. I often ask for people to pray for me. When you are afraid for your own physical or mental safety (I have been afraid of others and of my own actions all with good reason) then remain in prayer and do not have guilt about ensuring your own safety. I have experienced directly how disturbing it can be to deal with someone who is disturbed. And I certainly am disturbed myself at times. But I have also experienced how many times I could reach someone or someone could reach me just by using love, respect and honesty, which in my experience has been easiest to do when the focus was on the person instead of their behavior. And in case you are wondering the idea of love respect and honesty has come from a life where it has been what was least offered to me by other people for most of my life when I needed it far beyond meds and doctors, lawyers and judges. Also I would encourage you to research how much the medical industry is being influenced lately that prayer(not to the exclusion of other treatments but as part of a treatment plan) is very powerful in healing almost anything. I hope that God blesses you all with healing and that this post was helpful.

  3. #18
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    inhope yes that was helpful. Thank you.

    Tom...my nephew has been talked too in calm and honest ways many times before and he has appeared to respond by being honest..(or at least it was thought he was honest at the time) but sadly nothing changed. And this adds to the feelings of betrayal on our part because he will agree to this or that...getting on meds, therapy, saying what 'we' want to hear. He is the same way with the doctors and therapist...but his actions show the complete opposite. So then we don't trust him or believe him when he even appears to be honest to us.

    He won't take his medication...skips therapy..is more interested in drinking and partying or whatever. And he has suffered greatly the conquenses of those actions too. He has gone hungry...suffered from the cold, been in jail..been stolen from repeatedly by people he thought were his friends but nothing changes. He doesn't seem to learn at all from these experiences. He may not be capable of learning from them.

    And you are right...when it comes to medical treatment..therapy and all of that the spiritual part of things are left out...and I personally think that is why so many continue to struggle like they do. The spiritual part of ourselves isn't being healed even thought the mind and emotions may be getting better through meds and therapy. Without those spiritual wounds being addressed and healed, the person is stuck and complete healing always seems to be out of reach. So I will continue to pray for him ...I think in especially his case, God really is his only answer.

    Thank you again for taking the time to post that. It will benefit other readers that come along too. I am glad also you took the time to talk to that little girl..sometimes...many times, the 'person' gets forgotten and people are too busy looking at medication and behavior management rather then just connecting with that person like you pointed out.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  4. #19
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    Re: MINDS ON THE EDGE: Facing Mental Illness

    Quote Originally Posted by InHope
    All of them responded immediately when spoken to with love respect and honesty
    it occurs to me that this is the way Jesus spoke to everyone.

    Since this is A&E, I was wondering if either of you would be willing to share some of your experiences of sharing the Gospel to someone or being someone with a mental illness? What, if any, are the unique challenges faced by such individuals in coming to Christ? Of course it's not my intention to imply that all folks who are mentally ill should or could be grouped into any single category. Still I wonder if there are obsticals the share due to society's reaction in general to mental illness. My wife suffers from bipolar affect disorder. I think the biggest challenge to her, in coming to Christ, was accepting the notion that any love for her was real, much less the perfect love of our savior. She couldn't love herself so any other profession of love just didn't seem real to her. I wonder often about this; if those feeling were a function of the disease or to a lifetime of being judged by an ununderstanding society.
    "The greatest single cause of atheism in the
    world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus
    with their lips then walk out the door and deny
    Him by their lifestyles. That is what
    an unbelieving world simply
    finds unbelievable."

    ~ Brennan Manning

  5. #20

    Re: MINDS ON THE EDGE: Facing Mental Illness

    Quote Originally Posted by moonglow View Post
    inhope yes that was helpful. Thank you.

    Tom...my nephew has been talked too in calm and honest ways many times before and he has appeared to respond by being honest..(or at least it was thought he was honest at the time) but sadly nothing changed. And this adds to the feelings of betrayal on our part because he will agree to this or that...getting on meds, therapy, saying what 'we' want to hear. He is the same way with the doctors and therapist...but his actions show the complete opposite. So then we don't trust him or believe him when he even appears to be honest to us.

    He won't take his medication...skips therapy..is more interested in drinking and partying or whatever. And he has suffered greatly the conquenses of those actions too. He has gone hungry...suffered from the cold, been in jail..been stolen from repeatedly by people he thought were his friends but nothing changes. He doesn't seem to learn at all from these experiences. He may not be capable of learning from them.

    And you are right...when it comes to medical treatment..therapy and all of that the spiritual part of things are left out...and I personally think that is why so many continue to struggle like they do. The spiritual part of ourselves isn't being healed even thought the mind and emotions may be getting better through meds and therapy. Without those spiritual wounds being addressed and healed, the person is stuck and complete healing always seems to be out of reach. So I will continue to pray for him ...I think in especially his case, God really is his only answer.

    Thank you again for taking the time to post that. It will benefit other readers that come along too. I am glad also you took the time to talk to that little girl..sometimes...many times, the 'person' gets forgotten and people are too busy looking at medication and behavior management rather then just connecting with that person like you pointed out.

    God bless
    I can only speak about my experiences hoping they help others.

    First I would say that if God is his only answer you can be very confident For most of my life I have lived without family and friends (it's a long story but I was blessed with good parenting at an early age that did not last due to tragedy). I have faced some of the most bizarre problems you can imagine (for my own sake of privacy I'm going to leave it at that-and include that I never did any physical harm to anyone else). The good news is that this has meant that most of the time including right now, God has been my only answer. As a child I was taught to pray. I have been in some really hard places all by myself. So in those dark times (I still face darkness alone regularly) the only thing I could think of that might actually work was to pray. I can testify to God's grace, and I can also testify to God's might as I can report that so far God has been more than enough to handle my difficulties as they occur (they do seem to occur regularly )

    What might help you be less upset about your nephew is to read descriptions from people who are bipolar. It can be very hard to understand something that you have never experienced. So if you see what others experience it might help a little. Everyone is different even if they are diagnosed with the exact same thing. But I have found that online diaries or books of people who live these things out to be a good place to start. I know for myself that when I talk to a psychiatrist and when I talk to someone else who deals with some of the same issues I do, 9 times out of 10 the conversation with the person in the same boat as me is the one that helps me the most. There are usually online support groups for friends/family to help them deal with the person who has whatever diagnosis it is.

    The feelings of betrayal and disappointment and pain can be part of interacting with someone who is just really different in their mind than the average person. In my opinion it comes from dealing with someone who thinks and behaves in a way that makes absolutely no sense to you at all. I would encourage you to just try to experience love for your nephew (last I checked love was not always easy). You never know when a problem will be solved so maybe just continue to pray.

  6. #21

    Re: MINDS ON THE EDGE: Facing Mental Illness

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsy View Post
    it occurs to me that this is the way Jesus spoke to everyone.

    Since this is A&E, I was wondering if either of you would be willing to share some of your experiences of sharing the Gospel to someone or being someone with a mental illness? What, if any, are the unique challenges faced by such individuals in coming to Christ? Of course it's not my intention to imply that all folks who are mentally ill should or could be grouped into any single category. Still I wonder if there are obsticals the share due to society's reaction in general to mental illness. My wife suffers from bipolar affect disorder. I think the biggest challenge to her, in coming to Christ, was accepting the notion that any love for her was real, much less the perfect love of our savior. She couldn't love herself so any other profession of love just didn't seem real to her. I wonder often about this; if those feeling were a function of the disease or to a lifetime of being judged by an ununderstanding society.
    Just sharing my experiences hoping they help. My religious education started so early that I did not spend any real time in life without the awareness of God (this alone is probably one of the greatest blessings of my life). I would encourage you to just develop an understanding of your wife as a person. If someone doesn't love themself chances are they don't know what love is. Maybe you can use the scripture as one way to highlight what love is. I have experienced friends/family who really did not recognize love when it was in their life. In my opinion we usually don't recognize things that are unfamiliar no matter what mental condition we are in. In my honest and personal opinion in those times when a mental condition can affect someone's ability to recognize or experience love turn to God as with all things and pray that they experience love. My experience with the Gospel for myself and others has been that scripture has always been powerful enough to reach any mind. And it is just the universal experience of belief in the Gospel or disbelief that anyone exposed to it goes through. And honestly it seems to me that basic scripture has always made more sense to everyone I ever met than almost anything else on the planet. Also in my honest opinion the things you are wondering about sound to me like things people wonder about when they love another person (how do they feel about things? what do they think about things? etc) Most of the time we never really get any real answer on questions like that so maybe just continue to offer your love to her and to God for now and see how it goes.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsy View Post
    it occurs to me that this is the way Jesus spoke to everyone.

    Since this is A&E, I was wondering if either of you would be willing to share some of your experiences of sharing the Gospel to someone or being someone with a mental illness? What, if any, are the unique challenges faced by such individuals in coming to Christ? Of course it's not my intention to imply that all folks who are mentally ill should or could be grouped into any single category. Still I wonder if there are obsticals the share due to society's reaction in general to mental illness. My wife suffers from bipolar affect disorder. I think the biggest challenge to her, in coming to Christ, was accepting the notion that any love for her was real, much less the perfect love of our savior. She couldn't love herself so any other profession of love just didn't seem real to her. I wonder often about this; if those feeling were a function of the disease or to a lifetime of being judged by an ununderstanding society.
    If its about Jesus and the Gospel alone...I think as inhope was saying our spirit understands...regardless of whatever type of illness a person is dealing with.

    But as your wife has experienced, the lack of compassion by the church with regards to not just mental illness but almost any type of illness that isn't 'seen' ....for example people can see a person is crippled...they can't 'see' learning disabilities or ADHD or brain damage or mental illness. Yet they will accept that someone has heart disease or other organ problems and treat them with respect. But when it comes to these other things people, including Christians can be quite cruel. Especially when it comes to mental illness. And I don't know why. Maybe part of it is just lack of knowledge ..its too 'scary' ...I just don't know. But because of the unChrist like behavior towards those with mental illness it makes the message of Christ pretty hard to believe! How can we say, God loves you...but then treat them so badly?

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by inhope View Post
    I can only speak about my experiences hoping they help others.

    First I would say that if God is his only answer you can be very confident For most of my life I have lived without family and friends (it's a long story but I was blessed with good parenting at an early age that did not last due to tragedy). I have faced some of the most bizarre problems you can imagine (for my own sake of privacy I'm going to leave it at that-and include that I never did any physical harm to anyone else). The good news is that this has meant that most of the time including right now, God has been my only answer. As a child I was taught to pray. I have been in some really hard places all by myself. So in those dark times (I still face darkness alone regularly) the only thing I could think of that might actually work was to pray. I can testify to God's grace, and I can also testify to God's might as I can report that so far God has been more than enough to handle my difficulties as they occur (they do seem to occur regularly )

    What might help you be less upset about your nephew is to read descriptions from people who are bipolar. It can be very hard to understand something that you have never experienced. So if you see what others experience it might help a little. Everyone is different even if they are diagnosed with the exact same thing. But I have found that online diaries or books of people who live these things out to be a good place to start. I know for myself that when I talk to a psychiatrist and when I talk to someone else who deals with some of the same issues I do, 9 times out of 10 the conversation with the person in the same boat as me is the one that helps me the most. There are usually online support groups for friends/family to help them deal with the person who has whatever diagnosis it is.

    The feelings of betrayal and disappointment and pain can be part of interacting with someone who is just really different in their mind than the average person. In my opinion it comes from dealing with someone who thinks and behaves in a way that makes absolutely no sense to you at all. I would encourage you to just try to experience love for your nephew (last I checked love was not always easy). You never know when a problem will be solved so maybe just continue to pray.
    I think if Tom were 'just' bipolar we would all have an easier time understanding and in loving him. It doesn't upset us when he doesn't make sense..or jumps from wanting to do one thing to another...we realize that is part of the illness...that isn't the problem. Its the lying, deceiving and some sexual perverted behavior he acts out that has nothing to do with the bipolar that gets us in an uproar. I have done of reading about bipolar over the years, plus have that book the bipolar child because at one time they thought my son might be bipolar. I know there are different kinds. But I will do what you suggest and see if that helps.

    Its just Tom has so many other problems that makes things much more complicated and difficult to deal with. When my son was 12 Tom told him some pretty graphic sexual things that really, really upset me. Even though we always had some adult in the room with Tom when he was with one of his cousin...this slipped by because they had just gone out on the back porch and we were inside. We assumed since we could see them everything was ok...until my son told me the stuff he had said to him about girl and sex...not normal sexual stuff either. Just made me sick and angry. And he was on medication at the time too! He just lacks any and all common sense. And he has physically hurt my son before too which is why they are constantly watched. Us mom gets pretty angry when our kids are hurt.

    Anyway...I do appreciate your input on this.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  9. #24

    Re: MINDS ON THE EDGE: Facing Mental Illness

    Quote Originally Posted by moonglow View Post
    If its about Jesus and the Gospel alone...I think as inhope was saying our spirit understands...regardless of whatever type of illness a person is dealing with.

    But as your wife has experienced, the lack of compassion by the church with regards to not just mental illness but almost any type of illness that isn't 'seen' ....for example people can see a person is crippled...they can't 'see' learning disabilities or ADHD or brain damage or mental illness. Yet they will accept that someone has heart disease or other organ problems and treat them with respect. But when it comes to these other things people, including Christians can be quite cruel. Especially when it comes to mental illness. And I don't know why. Maybe part of it is just lack of knowledge ..its too 'scary' ...I just don't know. But because of the unChrist like behavior towards those with mental illness it makes the message of Christ pretty hard to believe! How can we say, God loves you...but then treat them so badly?

    God bless
    I think people hide behind God sometimes and are quick to suggest that God will do something they could probably get done themselves. God loves us. But in my opinion the biggest challenge within church and among Christians is that we do not make much effort to love each other. And also people are usually only cruel to whomever they think they can get away with being cruel to which is usually whoever they think is weaker than them. I have faced a lot of cruelty and it seems to me the best antidote is scripture and my own development in Christ. In my opinion Christ was here to teach us things that are so powerful they are pretty hard to learn. I believe all Christians are always still learning how to imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).

  10. #25

    Re: MINDS ON THE EDGE: Facing Mental Illness

    Quote Originally Posted by moonglow View Post
    I think if Tom were 'just' bipolar we would all have an easier time understanding and in loving him. It doesn't upset us when he doesn't make sense..or jumps from wanting to do one thing to another...we realize that is part of the illness...that isn't the problem. Its the lying, deceiving and some sexual perverted behavior he acts out that has nothing to do with the bipolar that gets us in an uproar. I have done of reading about bipolar over the years, plus have that book the bipolar child because at one time they thought my son might be bipolar. I know there are different kinds. But I will do what you suggest and see if that helps.

    Its just Tom has so many other problems that makes things much more complicated and difficult to deal with. When my son was 12 Tom told him some pretty graphic sexual things that really, really upset me. Even though we always had some adult in the room with Tom when he was with one of his cousin...this slipped by because they had just gone out on the back porch and we were inside. We assumed since we could see them everything was ok...until my son told me the stuff he had said to him about girl and sex...not normal sexual stuff either. Just made me sick and angry. And he was on medication at the time too! He just lacks any and all common sense. And he has physically hurt my son before too which is why they are constantly watched. Us mom gets pretty angry when our kids are hurt.

    Anyway...I do appreciate your input on this.

    God bless
    I can understand that you are facing complicated and difficult issues. There are no easy answers. And in truth I do not have any answers for you about the behavior you have to deal that has caused harm to others. It does sound like you need assistance as you try to help your nephew. Maybe it would help to ask your pastor to pray with you and also work with you (as in trying to figure out what would help your nephew to not harm anyone else) as you face this situation. Since I do not know you very well it is not a good idea for me to give you advice because I could do more harm than good just out of ignorance. All I can do is encourage you to pray to God for the help you need and trust that God is always listening (honestly this is exactly what I do more than anything else). If it helps I have found that the more I pray, the more I get ideas of how to help myself take practical steps to deal with my problems. I really hope that this helps.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by inhope View Post
    I think people hide behind God sometimes and are quick to suggest that God will do something they could probably get done themselves. God loves us. But in my opinion the biggest challenge within church and among Christians is that we do not make much effort to love each other. And also people are usually only cruel to whomever they think they can get away with being cruel to which is usually whoever they think is weaker than them. I have faced a lot of cruelty and it seems to me the best antidote is scripture and my own development in Christ. In my opinion Christ was here to teach us things that are so powerful they are pretty hard to learn. I believe all Christians are always still learning how to imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).
    Good insight.

    I think people are in general, fearful of the unknown, what they don't understand. Mental illness does have an stigma attached to it and it doesn't help when we hear news stories of mentally ill people killing their own children or others.. People get the idea this is common and all mentally ill people are violent. When actually these incidents are rare given the over all population of those with mental illnesses. Most are meek and mild and easily trampled over... The more they are ostracized and treated the badly the worse the illness can become too.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by inhope View Post
    I can understand that you are facing complicated and difficult issues. There are no easy answers. And in truth I do not have any answers for you about the behavior you have to deal that has caused harm to others. It does sound like you need assistance as you try to help your nephew. Maybe it would help to ask your pastor to pray with you and also work with you (as in trying to figure out what would help your nephew to not harm anyone else) as you face this situation. Since I do not know you very well it is not a good idea for me to give you advice because I could do more harm than good just out of ignorance. All I can do is encourage you to pray to God for the help you need and trust that God is always listening (honestly this is exactly what I do more than anything else). If it helps I have found that the more I pray, the more I get ideas of how to help myself take practical steps to deal with my problems. I really hope that this helps.
    I think you have been very helpful though. Today I am going to do some searching on frontal lobe brain injury which is one of the things Tom has because his biomom drank and did drugs. I did a little bit of searching yesterday but was mostly finding articles on people who had normal brain development but then suffered some injury like from a car accident. I want to try to find something that has more to do with fetal brain development...if possible. I am afraid the closest I may find is fetal alcohol syndrome. Now my sister said the dr said this wasn't actually 'brain damage'...it was more like lack of development in that part of the brain due to the chemicals being put into the baby's developing body.

    From what little I did read yesterday it sure fit alot of his behavior more so then the bipolar does. Sometimes I think they label anyone bipolar when they don't know what else it is. Anyway once I find a good site then I can compare that to the manic part of the bipolar and get a better idea as to why he is doing the things he does...then past that on to my mom and her husband.

    Thanks again for your insight on things!

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  13. #28
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    Well I have done some searching and it appears fetal alcohol syndrome has the same results on a baby who's mother did drugs, other then those babies can have more medical problems, like heart problems and so forth,..but so can a baby who's mother has drank alot. Tom doesn't have the facial features of FAS though...but from what I have read not all do. It depends on what part of the baby was developing when the mother drank.

    Anyway this sounds just like him:


    Executive Function Impairment:

    Problems with planning, sequencing

    Difficulty applying knowledge to daily skills

    Judgment

    Impulse control

    Organizational skills

    No future orientation, inability to delay gratification

    Attention/concentration

    Cause and effect

    Behavioral:

    Impulsive

    Hyperactive

    Distractible

    Aggressive explosive

    Lying/stealing

    Easily frustrated

    Interpersonal:

    Poor ability to read social cues

    Lack of empathy

    Externalized blame

    Excessive demand for attention (needy)

    Inflexible rigid thinking

    Difficulty understanding consequences

    Lack of self awareness, reflection

    Emotional

    Little ability to recognize feelings

    Little ability to articulate feelings

    Sense of urgency and intensity

    Anxiety common

    Labile mood

    Low self esteem.


    xdAn77sMPyM


    From what I read else where this isn't considered a mental illness but a physically disability. I could see how this could be seen as bipolar too though.

    https://health.google.com/health/ref/Bipolar+disorder
    Symptoms

    The manic phase may last from days to months and can include the following symptoms:

    * Agitation or irritation
    * Elevated mood
    o Hyperactivity
    o Increased energy
    o Lack of self-control
    o Racing thoughts
    * Inflated self-esteem (delusions of grandeur, false beliefs in special abilities)
    * Little need for sleep
    * Over-involvement in activities
    * Poor temper control
    * Reckless behavior
    o Binge eating, drinking, and/or drug use
    o Impaired judgment
    o Sexual promiscuity
    o Spending sprees
    * Tendency to be easily distracted


    I 'think'...(not 100% sure on this), that the times Tom slept alot and appeared possibly depressed was when he was on the medication for bipolar. I know some of those meds can make a person extremely tired. The sleeping alot was assumed to be the depressive part of bipolar...but it could have just been the meds.

    Of course the down side to all of this is there IS treatment for bipolar and medication to help...as far as I know there is no medication to make things better for someone with FAS. So then what?

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  14. #29

    Re: MINDS ON THE EDGE: Facing Mental Illness

    I agree the media makes dealing with this so much worse. They always focus on sensational stories foe their own ratings.

    This is all just trying to help. I want to preface this by saying that my personal experience with "mental illness" is fairly extensive. As in watching multiple family and friends dealing with it in their daily lives for years at a time, as well as my own experiences.

    This is my personal opinion. One of the greatest difficulties I have seen is the actual diagnostic process. A lot of the time people are misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. Diagnosis and treatment takes a long time. Doctors usually have areas of specialty because it is very complex to to treat anyone for conditions that are are usually classified as mental illness. Also a lot of times people who really need help can't afford it. Affordable mental health care is very very hard to come by.

    I would say that no matter what it is, there are different ways to try to respond. Some treatment plans focus on managing their symptoms. Some focus on helping people reach specific goals (like a job or going to school). Some are focused on prevention of future incidents (usually things that are harmful or make life unmanageable-like jail or hurting other people). Some focus on medication. And there are usually a lot of different opinions about how to treat the very same thing. Also nowadays a lot of people are trying alternative medicine techniques like yoga, diet and vitamin regimens, acupuncture. The main thing is that it takes a long time to address these things.

    What goals do you have for your nephew? I do not know his age. Age is a factor because of how he will be involved in his own treatment.
    What resources do you have towards treatment? Time, insurance, etc.

    No matter what, there are options. I have experienced that usually the most active and informative groups of people are friends and family of the person affected and groups organized by people affected themselves (because they have to deal with it every day) Honestly, most of the time in my experience groups like this are very informed about treatment options, support, how to find medical resources etc. I would suggest trying to find one in your area that you can go to in person (that way you can meet others and see that people are dealing with these things every day) I did find listings for fas support groups (you will definitely have to spend time interacting with them to know what is best for your situation) And maybe your pastor can help with this or someone in your church can go with you (like one time I went to AA meeting so my friend would know I still considered her my same friend as always-they have special meetings that are AA plus family/friend)

    I've been dealing with this kinda thing a long time now. You might have to try several different treatment plans. Honestly you might even go through more than 1 diagnosis. Be prepared for things to take a long time and it helps to have specific emergency resources (I often have emergency resources because I live alone and sometimes I have to deal with urgent matters) for anything urgent. But just know that your nephew is very blessed to have you

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by inhope View Post
    I agree the media makes dealing with this so much worse. They always focus on sensational stories foe their own ratings.

    This is all just trying to help. I want to preface this by saying that my personal experience with "mental illness" is fairly extensive. As in watching multiple family and friends dealing with it in their daily lives for years at a time, as well as my own experiences.

    This is my personal opinion. One of the greatest difficulties I have seen is the actual diagnostic process. A lot of the time people are misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. Diagnosis and treatment takes a long time. Doctors usually have areas of specialty because it is very complex to to treat anyone for conditions that are are usually classified as mental illness. Also a lot of times people who really need help can't afford it. Affordable mental health care is very very hard to come by.

    I would say that no matter what it is, there are different ways to try to respond. Some treatment plans focus on managing their symptoms. Some focus on helping people reach specific goals (like a job or going to school). Some are focused on prevention of future incidents (usually things that are harmful or make life unmanageable-like jail or hurting other people). Some focus on medication. And there are usually a lot of different opinions about how to treat the very same thing. Also nowadays a lot of people are trying alternative medicine techniques like yoga, diet and vitamin regimens, acupuncture. The main thing is that it takes a long time to address these things.

    What goals do you have for your nephew? I do not know his age. Age is a factor because of how he will be involved in his own treatment.
    What resources do you have towards treatment? Time, insurance, etc.

    No matter what, there are options. I have experienced that usually the most active and informative groups of people are friends and family of the person affected and groups organized by people affected themselves (because they have to deal with it every day) Honestly, most of the time in my experience groups like this are very informed about treatment options, support, how to find medical resources etc. I would suggest trying to find one in your area that you can go to in person (that way you can meet others and see that people are dealing with these things every day) I did find listings for fas support groups (you will definitely have to spend time interacting with them to know what is best for your situation) And maybe your pastor can help with this or someone in your church can go with you (like one time I went to AA meeting so my friend would know I still considered her my same friend as always-they have special meetings that are AA plus family/friend)

    I've been dealing with this kinda thing a long time now. You might have to try several different treatment plans. Honestly you might even go through more than 1 diagnosis. Be prepared for things to take a long time and it helps to have specific emergency resources (I often have emergency resources because I live alone and sometimes I have to deal with urgent matters) for anything urgent. But just know that your nephew is very blessed to have you
    Tom is 19...so old enough to refuse any kind of treatment so that makes its difficult. He did have a treatment plan when he lived in the city...had a dr for his meds, a therapist...a case worker...but he didn't do his end and while they and my sister had him set up in a nice apartment he wasn't able to be responsible and do the things he should have done. Emotionally and mentally he is just all over the place and his only thoughts in life are having a good time...meaning partying. Even though he would be given step by step instructions on doing things, he just didn't follow through. Was constantly losing his ID and his debit card. And he lived through the conquenses of those actions by having his lights shut on and freezing. By not having enough food because he let partiers eat it all...them stealing his debit card and taking all his money.

    To others it appears he is just being super irresponsibly but he isn't learning from his mistakes...keeps making the same ones over and over again...so I am starting to think he can't do it...and can't learn from his mistakes which is why we think he needs to be in a supervised living place but he has to ok that and he won't.

    Anyway...today..this afternoon he has an appointment to see a psychiatrist in a town close by and possibly get started back on his meds. My mom and her husband are taking him. I think they are hoping he will be admitted so he can be stabilized but like I said, even when he was on medication he wasn't any different except sleepy all the time. Medication won't fix the brain damage he suffered from his biomom using drugs and drinking while pregnant with him.

    But anyway...hopefully this doctor can set up the resources he will need..a case worker, therapist and get started on a treatment plan. Though that might be expecting too much to happen in one day.

    Depending on how things go today..if he doesn't get admitted or throw some huge fit, I am going to invite him over for supper tomorrow evening then take him to church with us. We go to church on Saturday evenings because our church is so large they can't have as many services as they need on just Sunday mornings. And we like going in the evenings anyway. It would give Tom something to do and not just be roaming around on a Saturday evening looking for a party to go too...

    Rich..my mom's husband...Tom's grandpa by marriage, is doing most of the work! I just email him information I find that might help Tom or go discuss things with him about Tom...but Rich really has exhausted himself trying to find help for Tom in our town. Its not a big city like Tom came from so doesn't have all the resources like the city did...but we all feel if Tom goes back to the city to live he will get back with the same bad people he did before and just end up in trouble all over again.

    On top of all of this Tom is living a very immoral lifestyle yet says he prays to God about this or that and after I talked to Rich the other day, saying we need to be telling Tom he is sinning against God and needs to get his life on track, Rich went ahead and was pretty blunt with him about things. That God won't hear any of Tom's prayers until its a prayer of repentance. And he listed all the things Tom is doing that goes directly against God's Word. Tom got really, really angry and cussed and carried on...Rich just waited until he calmed down. Which he finally did. Tom tried to say well it was God that answered his prayers and got him out of jail and did this and that for him and Rich set him straight on that and said, no...it was OUR prayers for you, that God answered...plus we, (him, my mom and his mom) worked our hind ends off to get to out and keep these other people from taking your disability checks. (Tom lied to SS and said his last girlfriends grandma was his grandma and he nearly signed her on to be the payee!) So now my sister has control over his money...which is the only way we have the slightly control over him at this point...otherwise he would be back in the city and getting into all sorts of trouble and losing his money to his so called friends.

    The spiritual part of all of this has to be addressed. So if everything else fails...doctors, medication, treatment plans Tom won't follow...he still has to deal with God. He was raised a Christian and while his understanding is probably limited, his spirit though I believe does understand..so if nothing else reaching him I hope and pray, this will.

    Again I thank you for your input..it does help. We have only been dealing with Tom (out of jail anyway) for a few weeks...have a long ways to go if we don't lose him and he just takes out to where ever...

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

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