Understanding the experience of mental illness

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Understanding the experience of mental illness

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The lived experience is those that have children with a mental illness. You need to have perspective. You need to know what's going on. People live in these little cocoons, and if there is a family on your block that has ten kids in their family, and it's beautiful, kids get a long great. They look at you and think, "You're a horrible parent. What? You can't raise your own kid? You only have one kid. What's wrong with you?" People need to understand what's wrong with you inside that household. It's not the parent's fault. Mental illness is a disease. If your child has cancer, is it your fault that you child got cancer? No. Same thing with a mental illness. The world needs to be educated. The neighbors need to be educated. The school system needs to be educated. Parents need to be educated. Unless people can understand and empathize with what you are going through, then it's a rocky road ahead. That, too, is a job for a parent. It's something else that a parent has to deal with, and it's just not easy.

Watch Jay Gaylen's video on Understanding the experience of mental illness...

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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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