Challenges of living with a mentally ill family member

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Challenges of living with a mentally ill family member

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Families that are involved with a child that has mental illness face challenges that you wouldn't believe. Imagine if you will: You know that feeling when you've lived through an earthquake and you've got the jitters? And then an aftershock hits and you think the big one's coming again. Well that's what it's like living in a household with a child that has mental illness. You never know what's going to happen or when it's going to happen. So the parents are always on edge. Or imagine a tornado has come through your home, ripped your home apart, and then as parents you're there cleaning the mess up. And then all of a sudden the tornado hits again and you have to clean it up again. It's constant, it's difficult, it's painful. And when you're dealing with a child with mental illness, you have to realize that it's emotionally draining, it's financially draining, and it's really hard on the parents because you are feeling like you're drowning. You don't exactly know what you're going to do or how you're going to survive or how your marriage is going to stay together. It's very painful. That's what it's like living with a child with mental illness.

Watch Video: Challenges of living with a mentally ill family member by Jay Gaylen, ...

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Jay Gaylen

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Jay Gaylen is the dad of a now 22-year old daughter who was diagnosed as a teen with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), Bi-Polar II and ADHD. Jay and his wife, Renu, adopted Joslyn from Thailand. The process started when Joslyn was just nine months old. It took nearly two years to complete the adoption process — a good reason why Joslyn is a RAD kid. They sought help from numerous resources before discovering NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Jay began lecturing for NAMI’s Parents and Teachers as Allies program while being trained to teach the Family to Family and Basics courses.

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