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Understanding mental illness.

gocat

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As a child i never really understood why my mum acted the way she did. She like me was mentally ill with schizoaffective disorder (Bi-polar and schizophrenia). I never understood why she was so violent, so brave or why she had so much faith in me. Some of the things she would say were extreme. The best way to explain it was she had a big your not my Son thing going on. I have to admit it would embarrass me a little. As a adult i can never fully understand her struggle but respect her more. For example she was only rarely in the psychiatric hospital even though she had to deal with my Dad who was a very horrible, nasty individual. I haven't seen her since i was a child but i have memories and my love for her has grown and respect as i have grown. I will never fully be able to understand what she went through etc but i think i understand a little. It is impossible virtually i believe to understand what someone with a mental illness is going through we can just gain vague glimpses and insights into their psyche.
 

highlander

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My mom had borderline personality disorder. It was extremely difficult to live with so when I went to college, I just left.

After dealing with dad's passage, we are having problems with my brother who refuses to move out of the house. Until recently, he hadn't worked for 40 years. He studied physics on his own. He calls that work The behavior I have seen is surprising: constant lying, delusional thinking, entitlement, selfishness, making things up about others and then spreading those lies, stealing, blaming everyone else for his predicament, and manipulation with me others to make us feel bad. All indications are that he suffers from narcissistic personality disorder. I bought a condo for him but he refuses to move into it. It has been highly destructive to the family. And this is a guy who does the weekly readings at church.
 
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Siúil a Rúin

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I've spent years studying psychology and was even in a masters in counseling for a year, but I keep feeling dumbfounded by human behavior. I know a lot of the mental illness categories, but people are more complex still.

I still don't understand my childhood. My mother had severe mental illness when she descended into dementia, but paranoid disorders could have been present earlier. She suffered beyond words I could convey. She would sob and rant, say things that made no sense, and I would try to comfort her, but it was like she couldn't even see me. My parents divorced bitterly when I was a toddler, and I grew up hearing my father was a monster. I spent his last years with him, and he wasn't a monster, but several people on that side of the family are strongly narcissistically inclined, so I have no idea what happened or who anyone was.

I've gotten entangled with mentally ill people as friends with me trying to help because I felt sorry for them. I guess it's some co-dependent issue on my part because I did have boundary issues feeling like too much of a caretaker for my mother and brother, but I'm working on that. I had one friend in particular that took me on a head trip to hell. I spent a lot of money on counseling making sense of the situation and had "secondary PTSD" as a result because she described constant brutal attacks, and I tried to get her professional help, and she had some. It was an extremely complex, elaborate situation. She said the man looked through her phone one night after raping her, so she had me convinced he was coming for me too. That went on for two years, and I'd check every closet and room in my house every time I got home from work. Then she said he was putting cameras on stray cats that would come in through her cat door, and I realized there was mental illness involved. I also don't understand that situation or woman or what was true or imagined.
 

Coriolis

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I've gotten entangled with mentally ill people as friends with me trying to help because I felt sorry for them. I guess it's some co-dependent issue on my part because I did have boundary issues feeling like too much of a caretaker for my mother and brother, but I'm working on that. I had one friend in particular that took me on a head trip to hell. I spent a lot of money on counseling making sense of the situation and had "secondary PTSD" as a result because she described constant brutal attacks, and I tried to get her professional help, and she had some. It was an extremely complex, elaborate situation. She said the man looked through her phone one night after raping her, so she had me convinced he was coming for me too. That went on for two years, and I'd check every closet and room in my house every time I got home from work. Then she said he was putting cameras on stray cats that would come in through her cat door, and I realized there was mental illness involved. I also don't understand that situation or woman or what was true or imagined.
This is a difficult situation. I would like to understand more how co-dependence plays out in such relationships, whether friends, family, or found-family. It is hard to balance the desire to help out of love for the person, and the need to maintain boundaries for one's own well-being. Well, ordinarily it isn't, but then such circumstances are far from ordinary, at least in my experience. I always appreciate your insight on such matters.
 

JAVO

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Harvard psychiatrist Chris Palmer thinks much mental illness has a root cause in diet and metabolism.

If this is too long to watch (I haven't watched it all yet myself), just the first 5 minutes is intriguing and starts to reveal the main focus of his thoughts.

 
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