Coping with a parent with mental illness can be an extremely difficult and harrowing journey depending on the circumstances and financial resources available. It can be very painful to see a parent in decline due to symptoms of mental illness especially if he/she has no insight or is unwilling or unable to get help for him or herself.
A mentally ill parent can bring up painful unresolved family dynamics and guilt, lots of guilt. The caregiving roles may need to be reversed before the adult child is emotionally or financially able to take on such a role. In addition, the adult child may not feel empowered to set limits with a demanding and mentally ill parent who refuses treatment.
One of the most important things an adult child of a mentally ill parent can do is develop a relationship with a therapist for themselves. Self-care is the key. Getting emotional support helps immensely. If the therapist knows their way around the same mental health system that the parent may be accessing or needs to access, that’s even better. Then you have yourself a combination therapist/mental health consultant. If an involuntary hospitalization becomes necessary, a consultant familiar with how the state system operates can be an extremely helpful resource.
About Barbara Edelman, MSW, LCSW
I am a Licensed Psychotherapist in Saint Louis, MO.
I am certified in EMDR and specialize in treating Anxiety, Depression, PTSD and Trauma in adults and adolescents and helping my clients develop a sense of peace, comfort and connection in their lives and relationships.
If you have anxiety or depression or think you may have unresolved trauma and would like to work with a Saint Louis area therapist who specializes in anxiety and trauma, please contact me for a free 15-minute phone consultation at 314-780-4906 or email me now to schedule a time firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website at www.barbaraedelmanmsw.com.