Life Lived with Love
A Mental Health Family Caregiver Community
Welcome to Care-FULLY where Mental Health Family Caregivers come to find understanding, support, share resources, vent, and build a community of advocates.
As a Mental Health Family Caregiver myself I understand the difficulty of navigating a life filled with personal commitments, family commitments, caregiving commitments, and work life commitments all while maintaining sanity through it all.
I am both a Family Caregiver and a survivor of Anxiety and Depression. Over the last four years I have come to understand how important my own self care and education is in this journey.
As a parent I thought I had what I needed to support our son on this journey. I mean as a parent we have this figured out right? We know our children and what can be so difficult about having inconsistent moods right? It is so much more complicated than that. I learned the difficulty of helping a loved one navigate this very difficult life required more than parenting skills alone. It required dedication to constantly learning about the illness, how it affected my son, how it affected our family and to not take things personal...how to grow a thick skin.
I learned about the struggle to live with a mental illness as I received my own diagnosis of Depression and later Anxiety which gave me a newfound respect for how difficult it is to get up and keep pushing through your day with the weight of mental illness.
Living with mental illness is very challenging and requires lots of hard work, medication, therapy, life style modification(s),educating yourself, and staying current on new research and treatments that become available. Anyone who has been on this journey understands it's is constantly evolving. What worked last month may not work today. What was working with the last medication may no longer work. This journey is filled with trial and error and if you don't learn to roll with the "ebb and flow" you will find yourself feeling very beaten down by this illness and the effects it can have on your loved with battling the illness, you as you support them, your family and your family's whole life.
My experience as both a Family Caregiver and Survivor allows me to bring lots of exeperience to the table in managing an illness and helping a loved one to manage their illness. That was not always my story. When I started out there were not mental health family caregivers who looked like me and who were talking about their experiences of caregiving for a loved one with a mental illness. I found two survivors on Instagram who were sharing their story and it gave me an idea of what my son was going through. At the time I thought it was the same for everyone so some of what they suggested worked, while some of what I tried using didn't work and made things worse as I tried shoving him into the same mold. I decided I didn't want another family to experience this frustration which is why I began the journey to advocacy and sharing what I learned on social media and now creating this community.
During your journey as a mental health family caregiver you will come to appreciate the luxury of having someone to talk to that understands what you are going through. Our spouses, families, friends, co-workers, and colleagues may listen but there is no way to fully grasp the weight of caregiving in this capacity unless you have experienced it or are experiencing it right now.
We are glad you're here. Go ahead and create your profile and get started...