So my mom is in an mental institution and will probably live out the rest of her life there.

Not a way I wanted to start off a thread, but my family has seen America's mental health system inside and out, and maybe others deal with these problems.

Here goes....
My mom suffers from severe bipolar, and her mom had schizophrenia.

It's hard for people without these conditions to realize the tragedy and loss of life...Your own mind goes to war against you.

The first time my mom was institutionalized, I was around 13.
Back then people called it "manic-depressive," though since it's become known as bipolar.

What's not often known is that there are severe hallucinations.

When my mom went off of her medications, she believed she was being followed and kidnapped my younger brother.
My mom quit taking her medications as she had had demons cast out of her.

I grew up in a very Evangelical household, the kind of stuff you see on TV?

We lived that.

Anyhow, she was convinced she had been healed and quit her lithium.
Bipolar people often quit taking their medication because they want to believe they don't need it and there are real side effects to it.

My mom would have depressive episodes lasting years, where getting out of bed was hard.

And then "manic" phases where she would hallucinate.
Getting your medications right is always a struggle. It used to be that lithium was the only option.

The new medication got expensive, at one point it cost my dad $1,200 a month just for the medication.

And not to politicize this, but you could get the meds cheaper from Canada.
My mom and dad were working poor, though no one in America will admit to being anything other than middle class.

When my mom had to be institutionalized for bipolar, the bills were huge, and they were always on the precipice of bankruptcy, working out a payment plan.
As bad as mental illness is (there is nothing worse than feeling like your mind - which is YOU - is attacking you from the inside out and ripping you apart)

- cognitive decline happens with age to the healthy. The impact is amplified among those with mental health conditions.
I saw mental illness on a microlevel - the bills, the institutions, the struggles, the living a life that isn't normal.

And on a macro level, no one is talking about this.

Aging populations already have cognitive decline. Add in pre-existing mental heal issues, and then what?
And there's a huge stigma attached with mental illness, and I'll tell you why.

No one is really supposed to talk authentically about it, because someone will get hurt.

Here's what I mean...
I was never the same after visiting my mom at the mental institution.

I felt...alone. As if I could never rely on another adult.

That's not something a parent would want to hear.

And yet it's my experience and my reality.

Any truth on these issues will be hurtful.
Every mental health issue is a catch-22.

Does a parent want to know their child may look at them differently if the parent is in an institution?

How much must that hurt. I can't comprehend it.

And yet I did feel different. I felt alone and on my own after that visit.
And there’s a huge fear of people to reach out when they are having a mental health episode.

Everyone really cares about mental health when a celebrity commits suicide, but day to day?

You’re supposed to keep this stuff to yourself.
If you let people know about a mental illness, they will use it against you.

People have tried used my mom’s bipolar against me.

The only people sicker than those with real conditions are everyone else.
Whenever I write about my mom’s bipolar and childhood experiences with it... So many people have similar stories.

Mental health is a major issue that we’re not supposed to talk about.

Until someone commits suicide or OD’s.

As a society we need to grow up a bit. Or a lot.
Mental health issues don’t get written or spoken about because those most qualified to speak about them and who lived them are also least prepared for the hate. The attacks will come.

And so people hide under the covers with the curtains drawn hoping the gloom goes away.
It’s hard to not say my childhood influenced my politics.

What do you do about the mentally ill? What I hear from so many, “They should have saved up for the medical bills!”

The glibness with which serious issues are treated has always troubled me.
Socialism isn’t going to solve the problem, nor snide remarks about “They should have saved up more!”

However, the drugs my mom needed cost 1/10th of the price charged in America.

$1,200 in the U.S.

Every month.

$120 if you ordered them from Canada.

Which is illegal.
Thank you @BernieSanders!
You can follow @Cernovich.
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