Support for Families Dealing with Mental Illness
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– Mar 1, 2022(16 replies)
I have a young child with a severe mental health condition. It started when she was 9 years old and she is now 14. She has been in and out of school, however about every 6-8 months she has a relapse and I have trouble getting her care. She is covered through Medi-cal and currently I am looking for a PHP (partial hospitalization program) where she can receive intensive mental health care services, counseling etc. She is taking medication, however she still falls out of remission when she is stressed. Currently, we are in a month long relapse and don't know what else to do. She has been hospitalized seven times since she was diagnosed and still has not had any real life changing help; just crisis intervention, several different medications, and some talk and play therapy.
I have been told Medi-cal does not cover PHP programs for adolescents. I called around a few places to see if I could pay out of pocket and the price is approximately $1200 per day and the stay would be 8 weeks-not financially possible without losing everything we have. The PHP coverage through Medi-cal is reserved for adults with issues such as substance abuse. Seems a little odd. Does anyone have any experience with this sort of situation. This is my first time writing and I am trying to be a little discreet, but I would welcome any suggestions. I have found that the mentally ill are seriously underserved, especially in this time of Covid. I would like my daughter to have a chance at a somewhat normal life. What I have been doing does not seem to be good enough; there has to me more help out there.
On another note, I also been told that now is the time to get a conservatorship. Any suggestions on who to contact.
Looking forward to some help
Thank youMar 1, 2022
– Apr 22, 2019(8 replies)
I'd like to know if anyone has experience, advice, or suggestions of a local group to help me in dealing with a family member that has mental health issues. A little background - at 36 years old my sister was diagnosed as having bipolar affective disorder (approximately 7 years ago). Within the last few years, her highs/lows have gotten much more severe than what I had previously seen. Since her initial disclosure that she was diagnosed with bipolar affective, she has never mentioned it again and is very elusive if she is on medication or receiving treatment (therapy or other). She has pivoted the conversation of mental health to being affected by PTSD (traumatic experience at 18 yrs old) instead of being affected by bipolar. She is located on the East Coast and it is difficult to know what is true/real or not. Her cycles are becoming more intrusive on my own mental/emotional health. I want to better serve her (in my responses to her) and also myself.
In this months "cycle," she calls sobbing at all hours begging for help and/or for me to call the police for her. Her main claims are that she is being stalked by a woman and she is in fear for her life. She says that the police are not serving her and they are out to get her. She says that all the police reports that she files "disappear" -- being stalked and the police not helping is a regular theme. She also rants and raves about a lot of other things ("did you know my IQ is off the charts! Yesterday I laid in the street so someone would run me over! I have a soulmate but he's weak! I have a fever! I fell down the stairs!") She has moments of coherence where it seems she's living in "my" reality but then quickly slips back into "her" reality.
I'd like to know if you have any advice (how do you respond to a family member in a crisis while maintaining your own boundaries for your health). Do you have any therapists you'd recommend? Are there other resources you suggest? I'm looking into NAMI/mental health support groups but also want to hear if others have successfully worked through similar issues.Apr 22, 2019
– Jan 22, 2018(5 replies)
Any recommendations for support group or resources for mom with this situation. I have Kaiser for healthcare which does include some great resources but not for this. This is a long standing issue which I pretty much have handled alone for 15 years but I feel frayed. I support my daughter (financially and otherwise) as much as I can but am feeling like I would like to talk to other parents in the same situation. As my daughter has aged she has become more demanding.
Any suggestions appreciated
Thank you in advance
In Oakland but have support group will travel in East BayJan 22, 2018
– Jan 8, 2018(4 replies)
I am looking for a therapist for my sister-in-law (she is not on BPN and has asked for help finding a good match).
She has been caring for my severely mentally ill brother for several years as his depression has sharply worsened. She has agreed it's necessary to see a therapist of her own because of caregiver burnout. She is a nurse during the day, then caring for my brother and their young child on evenings/weekends. I believe she could use someone with help in boundaries -- in helping her see where her obligations to her husband/son end and her obligations to herself & a happy life begin. This may include the painful exploration of conversation around marital separation.
Is there a really good therapist anyone could recommend? This is a special person and a really, really difficult situation because of the mental illness context with my brother. Location in Oakland near Piedmont Ave/Macarthur Blvd. would be great. She has Kaiser but if someone really good is out of Kaiser network that is an option too.
Thank you in advance,
- Worried sister-in-lawJan 8, 2018
– Jul 16, 2016(6 replies)
dear BPN parents
our last 2 years have been very hard. Our happy, well- adjusted child who grew up in a loving & happy home began experiencing signs of pychosis at age 13.
Mental Illness runs in the family on both sides so we immediately sought treatment, found a psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.
We've been through DBT, CBT and I reluctantly hand my child a fist full of meds each night.
We are in the "Prodromal" phase -- no psychotic break or hospitalization yet ... Hoping to avoid that! But still dealing with a suicidal child who has engaged in self harm who hears voices 24/7.
I've reached out to NAMI & other orgs but really would like to talk w other parents who worry @ their children's life chances due to early onset psychotic features & what we can do to best help our child through this period and prepare for young adulthood
Very worried mommyJul 16, 2016
Archived Q&A and Reviews
I am looking for a local support group in the East Bay...particularly Oakland or Berkeley area. I have been to a good one in SF, but it is too far to travel on a regular basis. I am looking to find a group, or even start one myself if there are others on this list who need support as well. If you have a husband or wife who has depression, you know what I am going through. You need a strong support system around you to survive. I haven't been able to find one specific to wives of depressive husbands. Also, one for families with children and one parent who is depressive. trying to find others in the same situation
here's NAMI's website with a list of east bay support groups for families affected by depression/mental illness: www.nami-alamedacounty.org/Family_Support_Groups.html
Our 13-year-old son has a alphabet soup of afflictions (ADHD, bipolar, OCD, ODD, Tourette syndrome and anxiety disorder). When he was little we read scores of books and attended support groups that helped us develop good techniques for working with him, all of this when we lived outside the Bay Area. The older he gets the more apparent it seems that we need new skills. Can anybody in this dialed-in network suggest either helpful literature or support groups? Many thanks. Anon
I'd be surprised if you aren't already familiar with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), but, just in case you aren't, here are links to the national website as well as the East Bay website. http://www.nami.org/ http://www.nami.org/MSTemplate.cfm?Site=NAMI_East_Bay . Best wishes
I have a 4 month old daughter. My husband has a major, long-term, ''treatment-resistant'' depression. He's tried every medication (the list is something like 30 drugs and combinations) including some MAOI's, one of which helped land him in the ER when I was 9 months pregnant. He has heard from everyone that he should exercise, but won't/isn't able to actually do something about it. Ditto with dietary changes, such as cutting down on the wine, coffee, etc. These things contribute to his being overweight, having sleep problems, snoring. He also suffers from migraines. He's been in therapy with his Psychiatrist but he doesn't seem to think it has done anything to help. Bottom line is he's depressed. Often to the point where he is in bed most of the day. I'm looking for some sort of support group for myself. Does anyone know of such a thing in the Bay Area? coping
Check with the National Alliance For Mental Health. They have s support group for depressives in San Francisco. According to the link there are also affiliates in Oakland and Albany. http://www.nami.org/template.cfm?section=your_local_nami What is positive about NAMI is that they are a group that encourages both medical and social management of mental illness. It also helps family members reduce their feelings of isolation, and advocates for better medical care and the governmental financial resources necessary to provide that care. anon
Editor note: more responses to this question are here: Husband's debilitating depression
Hello all, I am wondering if there are any support groups that meet face-to-face for people with severely depressed siblings or other family members. I've found plenty of online support groups but I'd really like to talk to people in person. Therapy is getting pretty darn expensive and I really want to meet other people who can relate to my situation. My little brother (now 25) has been horrifically depressed since he was about 8 years old; we've exhausted all our emotional, financial, and mental resources trying to help him, and now I just really need help myself. Thanks Katie
Hi, There is a website findgrouptherapy.com that lists many of the therapy and support groups in the bay area. Take a look and see if there is a group that appeals to you and talk to the group leader. I run a women's group in Lafayette and would be happy to talk to you about other groups I know of. Marie