Isn’t that a simple yet meaningful prayer? How many of us are capable of what you are asking for? Is it difficult? Imagine how difficult it would be for people with mental health conditions to understand and do this? It is not easy for any normal human to do it, but how much more difficult could it be for people who struggle with mental illness?
Harmony and peace are values that endure. Having a harmonious mind is crucial to maintaining a peaceful life.
Mental Harmony – How did I decide to write an article on mental health? It is a topic close to my heart. My purpose in talking about it isn’t to gain sympathy or to win this contest. I want to raise awareness by talking about it. Maintaining mental harmony is not something many struggle with, or perhaps I should say, many are unaware of the importance of maintaining mental harmony.
I am neither a counselor nor a psychiatrist. A person I lived with for 25+ years had a mental health disorder too ignorant of its existence. In this article, I share my experience that people who are close to people who suffer from mental illness also suffer in the same manner.
To begin with, let’s define mental health and identify the types of mental disorders.
What is mental health?
A state of mental health is one where the individual understands their abilities, can cope with the stresses of daily life, can contribute to their community, and can work productively and fruitfully.
Some of the main groups of mental disorders are:
Like others, I too thought that mental health disorder means “frenetic”. The ones who look crazy and scary.
My partner did not seem to be “crazy or scary” so his gesture wasn’t considered abnormal. Just that ” he has anger issues” Or ” youngest child who is pampered,” Or “he is like his maternal uncle”.
My experience is with antisocial personality and borderline personality disorder. My partner and my daughter suffer from then respectively. The person who is suffering from these disorders no doubt suffers a lot but how important risk does it take on the close family of the person? Their gesture drains down the people around them mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially.
What is an anti-social personality disorder?
Antisocial personality disorder, sometimes called sociopathy, is a mental disorder in which a person consistently shows no regard for right and wrong and ignores the rights and feelings of others. People with antisocial personality disorder tend to antagonize, manipulate or treat others harshly or with callous indifference. They show no guilt or remorse for their behavior.
Individuals with an antisocial personality disorder often violate the law, becoming criminals. They may lie, behave violently or impulsively, and have problems with drug and alcohol use. Because of these characteristics, people with this disorder typically can’t fulfill responsibilities related to family, work, or school.
What is a borderline personality disorder?
People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) often have a strong fear of abandonment, struggle to maintain healthy relationships, have very intense emotions, act impulsively, and may even experience paranoia and dissociation.
There is research showing that borderline personality disorder runs in families. This is likely due to several factors. First, some part of BPD is due to genetics; if these are your biological kids and they have inherited a certain combination of genes from you, they may be more at risk to develop BPD.
The above delineations must have given you the idea that it must be so difficult for the person who is suffering and difficult to live with a person with any personality disorder especially when you are not aware of the problem. My life was no different. Until last 7 years I was living in a relationship of verbal, physical, and mental abuse for 20+years. My partner had an anti-social personality disorder. None of us were aware until things went out of control when he turned into a complete alcoholic and lost his job.
Over the years, I have suffered a lot because of his condition. I could not concentrate on my career and did everything possible and insolvable to maintain peace and harmony at home. I lost myself over the years, but no way gave up as I knew I must take responsibility for my daughters. I had numerous reasons to stay in the relationship. Being a mother of 2 daughters made it difficult for me to walk away for financial security was one of them.
7 years back when he turned complete alcoholic, I was floundering to handle it all as all of it was too new to me. Alcoholic, rehabilitation sounded like alien words to me. Eventually meeting a Psychiatrist helped me understand the issue. But it was not easy. It made it worse when my partner refused treatment and went into denial.
While I was dealing with my partner’s issue, my younger daughter claimed that she needs help. I’m glad that she felt the need to visit the Psychiatrist and now we are aware of her problem. She suffers from a borderline personality disorder.
2 years back I moved out of my husband’s house as my forbearance had reached its peak. Now I live with my daughters. Moving out was needed for my daughter’s wellbeing and mine too. I did not want her situation to get worst.
The abuse continues. As I have filled for a legal separation, it just has a new mask in the form of endless court visits. Being a single mother also brings in new challenges. I’m 47 years and I’m sure you are aware that women during this time go through menopause. They need a lot of understanding and love from their family. But I was busy loving and understanding them. It has taken a big toll on my physical health.
To make it worst I trusted few people with my life secrets and refrained from sharing my sufferings with many. But those few took the most advantage of my vulnerability which left deep emotional scars. I wish people were less selfish and more sensitive towards others and their feelings. Like they say, “Time is the best healer”.
Now, I talk about my life openly. It’s not my fault for the situation I’m in. If my opening up on this topic helps someone, it would be worth it.
After moving out I feel the freedom in air. I’m free to do small things which makes me happy. I’m much calmer and I’m happy in my own company. I’m exploring the path of spirituality, reading, painting again after 1998 and much more.
I can write pages of my experience of 27 years which would presumably give you goosebumps. You can get the glimpse of my life in the character played by Julia Roberts from the movie “Sleeping with the enemy”. But to cut it short please do not neglect any unusual behavior in yourself or your loved ones.
Seeing a Psychiatrist does not mean the person is frenetic. It’s just that they need help to deal with a situation that may be veritably normal for you and me. Therapy sessions, medications, family support and conscious effort from the affected person to bring changes can help to control the behavior. Most important – acceptance that I have a problem can make all the difference.
My heart reaches out to all the caretakers. You also have just one life to live. First take care of yourself. Eat well. Rest well. Don’t neglect yourself. Spend time with friends. Meet people who are sailing in the same boat. Only they can understand you better. Others will just make it worst for you if you discuss the problem. Take up a hobby. Practice detachment with love. Set boundaries. Meditate. If needed seek help. No way give up on your life, on your dreams, on your hopes.
Good Therapy seeks to emphasize that mental health is a mortal experience. Symptoms and circumstances of mental health concerns come in nearly unlimited variation. But they are, above all, a normal part of being alive. We must care for not only our bodies but also our emotions and thoughts.
I’m taking care of my Mental Harmony, are you?
Helping hand if you or your close ones are suffering from analogous kind of complaint:
Antisocial Personality Disorder: Books:
Antisocial Personality Disorder: Video
Borderline Personality Disorder: Books
Foundations to reach for help:
Hollywood movies featuring the main characters with antisocial personality disorder
Silence of the Lambs, 1991
The Last King of Scotland, 2006
Famous people with borderline personality disorder
She perfectly fits the expression "Jack of all trades and master of none." By profession, she is a Senior Administration Executive but qualified as an Interior Designer. In addition to being a mother of two adult daughters, she is a painter, cook, writer, and singer. She has taken up writing recently. She enjoys reading books. Spirituality is something she is passionate about. Karma is something she believes strongly in. Fun-loving, Straightforward, Cleanliness focused. Honesty is a quality she values. Many trust her with their needs. Her street smarts and boldness make her stand out. However, she can be a difficult person to deal with when angry. A kindness, no matter how small, will never go unnoticed. That's her motto. Kindness is always appreciated.