Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mental Health services in MN

I have debated about how much information to share here, but I'm so tired of mental illness being some deep, dark, shameful secret. It EXISTS, just like diabetes, cancer, and Down syndrome exist. My son tyler, who has done nothing to deserve the life he has, SUFFERS from mental illness. Paranoid Schizophrenia, to be exact. It is a horrible illness.

If you're in MN, and have a child or adolescent who has mental health issues, you've probably found that the resources here are quite good. There are all kinds of services and programs available.

And then they turn 18.

Tyler is now 20, and to be honest, I don't even know all of the services available to him, because he's an adult and can refuse all of them. Never mind he has threatened harm to a lot of people over the years. Never mind the suicide attempts. Never mind the chemical usage in an attempt to self-medicate and quiet the intrusive thoughts that are not really his.  

If only there was a court order for him to be on meds, he'd be able to survive in this world that makes horrible demands upon his sanity. I'm numb to much of Tyler's "issues", because I've been dealing with them for so long. When I see news stories of suicides in our area, I read them over and over again until they're updated with a name. Just the other day there was a story of a young adult male who, while teasing a friend, ACTED like he was going to jump off a bridge, then DID fall when he lost his balance in the midst of the joke. I was sure my son's name was going to show up on that article. Just sure of it.

So, when I got the phone call the other night, and saw the name of a local hospital on the caller ID, I was pretty sure it was going to be about Tyler, and in the time it took for me to reach for the phone I'd already started planning a funeral.

For the 3rd time, Praise GOD, Tyler was not successful in putting an end to his suffering. As he sat bleeding for several hours, the drugs in his system wore off enough that he became scared, and called an ambulance. I haven't seen him yet, but he has signed a release for the hospital to talk to me. I'm really surprised that he did. I think it's his way of telling me he loves me and just wants help. Anyway, the nurse I talked to just a few minutes ago said the injuries to his arms are "extensive" and the dressing changes take quite a bit of time. 

Tyler, Tyler, Tyler....

As I write this, I'm in tears. The thought of my child being so tormented by his own thoughts to the point he wants to end his life breaks my heart. How I want to take him under my mother wings. Bring him here so I can help him through this. But I can't do that. I can't bring him here. Instead I have to rely on the courts, and some type of review board, to CLEARLY see what the reality is for Tyler, and make the right decisions for him.

Sometimes being the mom is just plain difficult!



Molly C said...

Oh hun, I don't even know what to say. He's my age. I'm sending you big virtual hugs. I hope and pray that the courts seewhat his reality is.

Beverly said...

I am praying for you and your son! My older brother has PS and it is not fun. It is such an awful illness to deal with not only for the person but for the family!

Monica said...

Leah....I am so sorry!!!! You and Tyler are in our prayers!!!!!!

JennyH said...

Poor Tyler. I wish he felt better. Hopefully things will work out for the best very soon.

My Girls R Angels said...

Wow, Leah, what strength you are showing as you get through this with your precious Tyler! Praying for your peace and for Tyler's peace has he heals. God Bless you all!

Rockledge, FL

Tamara said...

Praying here for Tyler and you -

Lovin Mama said...

It must be so hard to watch your son living with this and not be able to help him. I'll be praying for you and Tyler.

My name is Sarah said...

This is Joyce. Hugs and more hugs coming your way. I can't imagine how hard this must be for a mom.

datri said...

Prayers and hugs Leah. I think mental illness is harder than intellectual disability. People always think that the person suffering from a mental illness can just pull themselves together or snap out of it, even though it is a medical condition. It's frustrating.