— Now Hear This

23 people talk about the heartbreaking reality of having a parent who is mentally ill

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Mental illness is really tough, and it affects so many people in the world around us. What can be even more challenging than the illnesses themselves are the ways in which they’ve been stigmatized. Because it is so stigmatized, it isn’t always talked about enough, which can be incredibly difficult for people who have mental illnesses. It can also be tough for people who love people with mental illnesses. This is especially hard for children of people who deal with mental illness. How do you deal with mental illness when it’s not your own, but your parent’s?

In whom can you confide? Who can you turn to?

Read the following 23 true confessions from children who have been dealing with parents fighting mental illness. See how everyone copes and deals when the person who raised them is struggling to be okay. Courtesy of Whisper.

I'm scared to leave home and start my own life because I'm afraid my mom's depression will come back if I leave. Quantcast My Dad has PTSD. Sometimes I get woken up by his screaming from the night terrors. It breaks my heart.Quantcast My mom is mentally ill.. Has been since I was 7. Hardest part is she doesn't think I'm her kid :( till this day it's something I struggle with Quantcast My dad has depression which means whenever I talk to him he either brings up his past or shouts. I love him but I can't be around him anymore, it's making me worse.Quantcast My mom has OCD and can't stand anything not perfectly straight. It is sometimes the most annoying or the saddest thing to see her yelling at my siblings.Quantcast My mom's mental illness is doing more damage to my own mental health than my parents divorce ever could. Quantcast My heart is so broken. My mom's mental illness is winning. Having her committed for her own safety is tearing me apart but I know it's for the best. I'm devastated Quantcast It's upsetting my dad's mental illness fucked up not only his life but his family's.Quantcast My dad has bipolar disorder and it scares me to think I will grow up like him one day. I do not want to be like him one day. Quantcast My mom has PTSD and sometimes I don't know who she isQuantcast The main reason I don't like to go out is because my mom's anxiety. I don't like to muster up the energy to deal with the interrogation and constant checking up on me.Quantcast I'm in a vicious cycle of worrying my mom's anxiety and depression is hereditary, and making myself not worry and put on a smile because otherwise the former is true.Quantcast My mom's depression has gotten so bad that I've become her emotional punching bag.Quantcast My dad has ptsd from his 30 years in the military, leaving him with awful night terrors every night. I hate it that he goes through this..Quantcast My dad is bipolar & has PTSD.. He's manic & all I can do right now is stay up & listen & hope it helps..Quantcast My dad is bipolar and sometimes it's hard to distinguish between his disability and his personality Quantcast My dad's depression triggers mine. When he's depressed, his verbal and emotional abuse on my mother and I skyrockets.Quantcast My dad is bipolar and my mom thinks its just fine. As long as his anger isnt directed towards her. Quantcast My dad's depression has gotten worse. He is being downright mean to the people he loves and who love him. And he isn't capable of understanding our feelings about it. It's hard.Quantcast My dad has bipolar/depression and says awful things to me...and I feel bad when I get angry with him because I know it's his illness talking, I don't think he can help it...Quantcast My dad is bipolar, I've seen how he's like when he has an episode, I'm worried it's going to happen to me.Quantcast My mom's mental illness is the reason I became a psychiatrist.Quantcast My mom is bipolar. Whenever she's in a bad mood in public it embarrasses me. I love her but this makes me wish she wasn't my mom.

Mental health is an incredibly important thing. Although it can be heartbreaking to read these confessions, the important thing to remember is that the children in these stories know that they need to put themselves first. It can be easy to feel like you need to take care of a parent or loved one who is dealing with a mental illness. What we need to remember is to always take care of ourselves first. It is okay to put your own safety and recovery first, no matter how much love you have for the person dealing with illness.Quantcast

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