Today’s #SameHere Hero: Rick McCarthy (Rick is retired military as well, however his story comes from a different angle than Sean the Navy Seal. Rick discusses how when mental health conditions arise in a family it can have a big effect on other family members – from all different relationship angles. Helping (& even just watching) one or a number of family members go through their own battle(s) can be a traumatic experience in & of itself.)
“Over the past year, two of my children have experienced mental health & behavioral conditions such as depression (one unipolar & one bipolar), suicidal thoughts & cutting. Help from their school counselors was thrust upon them when the cutting & suicidal thoughts came to light.
However these issues have taken a toll on me as well, manifesting in my own mild depression & feelings/thoughts of not being an adequate parent. I don’t think I personally had ever experienced depression like this until my children’s complications started to arise. My depression now comes in spurts. I mostly get this feeling that I am not in control & it also brings about pretty consistent anxiety as I think about what problems may spring up next.
I do notice in being self critical, I tend to keep most personal feelings & issues to myself, which isn’t healthy. However, to help with my own feelings I’ve been having with this situation, I knew I needed to at least talk to someone & get it out of my own head. When things have bothered me in the past & I have shared, I’ve mostly turned to my brother for that outlet. I’ve done so this time as well.
We have attempted to get family counseling but are shocked at just how hard it is to get an appointment/shortage of practitioners. I work a lot so that allows me to focus on something else & attempt keep from getting too depressed, though I know you can’t just ignore the issues bc they compound if you don’t face them. If there’s any silver lining, this situation & opening up as a family has allowed me to get closer to my children. Also, having my brother & a great school network (for the kids) has made things much more manageable.
Until my children’s issues came up, & I had to face my own effects from them, I had no idea how many people actually suffer from some sort of mental health condition at some level. About the same time my family started facing these multiple issues, Eric Kussin, who is a friend, posted his personal battle & life trials to Facebook & shortly after he started this whole “Crazy” movement. As I have previously stated I tend to keep things to myself but the story he shared initially & now others are sharing about their own obstacles through this movement, have made me open up even more & be less in denial than I had been. This stuff is real & I now know that going through things is ok, bc everyone does in life. #SameHere !”