One of my colleagues came home to extend his condolences a couple of weeks after Day 0. His son is 18 years of age and for the last 2 years he has not really spoken with anyone. He has no friends. He comes home from school, goes straight to his room and plays video games for hours, sometimes up to 12 hours! He refuses to see a psychiatrist. Interestingly, his mother does not want a diagnosis as she feels that the ‘label’ will drive the son to end his life. Notably, the father is a doctor and the mother is a nurse. This is how bad the stigma is, even within the medical profession.
Today I watched Margaret Trudeau being interviewed about her struggle with Bipolar disorder. [ https://bipolardyke.wordpress.com/bipolar-film-music/ ]
She is a canadian author, actress and photographer who is now in her 60s and has spent most of her life dealing with this illness. She says, the first thing to do is to accept that there is an illness, secondly, appoint an advocate, as the person in question is not of sound mind and most importantly, talk about it. The more we talk about it the better the understanding.
A lot of children suffer terribly from mental illness but their families keep quiet about it. This problem is very common. There needs to be an overhaul of the system and more help given to the relatives.
I know there is enough compassion in the world for us to feel free to talk about it. Let’s do it.