This was a great but sad essay. I am dealing with what seems to be a lot of people around me dealing with some type of diagnosed and undiagnosed mental health disorder (including some children and my own parents) as caregivers or individuals with mental health issues themselves. It’s very stressful dealing with your own life and then being overtaken by the mental health issues of friends and loved ones. It’s draining, and it’s amazing how few long-term resources there are to assist these people. It seems like no matter how much work you put in, you’re walking in quicksand going no place fast.
For me personally, I have been trying to ease myself out of aiding in the care of these people in order to save my own mental health and overall well-being. You can’t force someone to take or stay on meds. You can’t always get the mentally ill to open the door for the treatment team to do the outpatient care. You can’t sit around and watch this person 24/7. You can’t find sufficient long-term treatment for persons with mental illness (especially the elderly). You can’t even get the courts to assist you without going through a long litany of checklists and processes. The mentally ill end up in and out of hospitals due to legalese, and eventually harming themselves or others. The mentally ill it seems has more rights and opportunities to harm the general public than it appears I do in getting them help. I have lost hope and faith in the merry-go-round of helping people with mental health issues.
Sometimes, practicing self-care is the best care you can give someone dealing with mental health issues. Everything else is beyond your control and power.