Academic journal article Social Alternatives

Mother, Mental Health Clinician - Who Am I?

Academic journal article Social Alternatives

Mother, Mental Health Clinician - Who Am I?

Article excerpt

Here I was a clinician and a case manager on a mental health team and I was watching my own son on a downward spiral and I was powerless to do anything. I knew the signs as I worked with people who had a mental illness on a day to day basis and in my professional knowledge I could see that he was unwell. My own mother all her life displayed similar signs.

As a mother I struggled constantly with my thoughts. Is this real? Is he really sick or is he just angry at me? How do I know that what he is saying isn't true or am I over involved or over sensitive to mental health issues? What did I do wrong and how did I fail him? If I told anyone would they believe me even though I am a mental health clinician? Am I getting judged by the fact I am a mother of someone with a mental illness? Did I drive him to it?

When I asked for a mental health assessment of my son I felt that I had to justify myself. I experienced the pain of waiting hours, days for someone to help me while I feared he would hurt himself badly. I was told nothing could be done and then when they did something they admitted him to hospital. He was released within days still as unwell as before. After perseverance in asking for help and a crisis, finally he was admitted for a six month hospital stay.

This only added to my stress although I tried to sit on every medical assessment and I spoke to everyone involved. …

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