Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not acquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them. Those who smugly think these calamities will not happen, that they somehow will be set aside because of the righteousness of the Saints, are deceived and will rue the day they harbored such a delusion. - Ezra Taft Benson

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dealing with Schizophrenia

I have a brother with schizophrenia.  He's been dealing with it since he was 20.  He's now in his late 40's.  He's tried to hold down a job and was able to work for Deseret Industries for a year - but his hallucinations and sense of reality keep him from being able to do some of the normal and routine things that the rest of us do.

My heart goes out to him and, as a family, some of us rotate taking him on his 'errands' each week.  It's been a big trial for all in our family (of 8 siblings) and for my parents who have carried the majority of the load.  Accompanying mental-illness are the ramifications, worries, stresses, and griefs for the family.
My parents studied and learned all they could and actually became teachers of a 12-week course for families in similar circumstances.

Being an engineer - my Dad kept working towards figuring things out, studying the brain, researching new methods, medications, nutritional treatments etc.  And...he is still doing so.  It's worn him, and all of the rest of us down.  But, we keep trying.

My brother, Don, who deals with this challenge, has been a 'teacher' for all of the rest of us.  We've had to learn more about love, patience, compassion, understanding to deal with someone who doesn't live in reality.  It's been a great challenge and trial.

So, as we talk about preparedness and dealing with emotional challenges, let us also be aware that some aren't able to do as well as others' and that we certainly are 'our brothers' keeper'.  We are to do the best we can to prepare temporally and spiritually (which, I believe, includes emotionally) but...when personal challenges of mental illness are part of our trial - all we can do is to 'do the best you can' and...then press forward in faith and courage and ... balance for ourselves so that we can help those who can't help themselves.