Tag Archives: mental-illness

My boyfriend is crazy

Dear globalcounselor,

I have been divorced for 10 years.  I have recovered from the abuse I endured and ready to start a new relationship.  I started looking for a new partner from among my previous boyfriends instead of seeking new horizons.  I bumped into a childhood boyfriend who was crazy about me. He was unattached and so was I. We met briefly in the airport on a trip back home in Tobago. We exchanged numbers and started a flurry of email and phone calls for about a year before I summoned the courage to tell him I would like to visit him in New York. He made a lot of excuses which appeared plausible because he said his job involved a lot of travel. Anyway, we agreed on a date and I was so excited to see him and get reacquainted for real because I was conjuring up all kinds of romantic ideals about him based on my knowledge of him.  I could hardly contain my runaway imagination.  To my horror, when I arrived at his place I saw a man who was obviously a mentally ill person.  The place was upside down, the sink was high with dirty dishes and he was dishevelled and smelly. I ran out of the house and he did not even try to stop me and got the first plane back to Toronto.  I do not know how I could have missed all the signs in the emails and phone calls.  There were signs of disconnect but I chose not see them because I wanted a relationship so badly. I would like to warn other women and mento tread cautiously with people and to try and read between the lines of conversations and emails for inconsistencies.  There are always signs to be seen but which we choose to ignore at our own peril.  I feel badly about running out the apartment the way I did. I feel I should have shown more compassion but I could not because he was not my prince chrming, you see.

Broken hearted

Dear broken-hearted,

It happens to the best of us. We see and turn away in the hope  that the bad scene will all disappear.  People change sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. As we get older we collect illnesses as well other disabilities, most of which are no fault of our own.  Your boyfriend is not responsible for your imagination.  Perhaps he stopped taking his medication a week before you arrived so as to be fully himself and gave his mental illness the opportunity to flourish.  Imagination is great but must be tempered with a dose of reality.  Perhaps he should have been honest with you and tell  you that he suffers from a mental illness but we all know that taboo. Once he had told you you  probably would have gone running in the other direction just as you did. Thanks for sharing your story. I hope others learn from it and I hope you find the man – forget about prince charming – that suits you.

My son is acting weird

Dear Globalcounselor,

I am a single African-American mother of a 15-year-old boy. He is a sweet child. He is extremely smart and I have trained him to think that there is no one better than him. I have always praised him to boost his self-esteem and always tried to be a step ahead of his class. I constantly nourish his mind and spirit by buying interesting books and toys to stimulate him.  Recently my son’s behavior has become erratic. He has frequent temper tantrums and the last time he was verbally abusive to me, calling me bitch and to get out. I am really concerned. The first thing that came to mind was drugs.  Is my son doing drugs? I could not stand it, not after all I have tried to give him to make him do the right thing.   He is always penitent  afterwards when he sees how sad I am. He promises never to do it. He says things like he would rather kill himself than hurt me because he loves me so much. I believe him. He is a good boy, so what is the problem? I have tumbled the place up looking for drugs but I haven’t found a trace of anything. I have gone through every note, writing scrap paper and I have found nothing to suggest anything.  Any advice for me?

Sad

 

Dear Sad,

Think about what may have triggered this behavior, when did it present itself. Has he hinted at anything different going on at school?  Think about the foods he eats. Have you introduced anything different? Sometimes allergic reaction to food can have this kind of reaction.  My advice to you is to take him to the doctor and if it is necessary he may be referred to a psychologist. I don’t want to scare you but it could also be the onset of a mental issue.  I know this may hit you hard but there is so much out there to help people with all kinds of mental issue you need not be afraid but I think it is important to rule this out. Also, talk to his teachers at school to see if his behavior had changed, talk to his friends – do your research before going to the doctor.

 

Fear of mental illness

Dear globalcounselor,

I am a 35 year  old woman, single and never married. I come from a family where mental illness has plagued many members of our famiy.  I have it on both my mom and my dad’s side and I live in fear that it’s only a matter of time that I will lose my mind to mental illness. I have no signs of this disease and my therapist tells me that I may never get it but I feel I will drive myself crazy to fulfill this prophecy that I am making and it scares me all the time. I find I keep checking myself all the time. I know I will never want to have children because of it and I am afraid to get into a deep relationship in case I crack.  I am insanely fearful all the time. How I can get over this?

Fear ridden

Dear fear-ridden,

You’ve said it. You are driving yourself insane and this is not inherited.  I’ll use an old cliche, there is nothing to fear but fear itself.  You have to start living and tell yourself even if you are diagnosed with a mental illness sometime in the future, there are treatments available that will enable you live a normal life. Mental illness is like any other chronic illness – you live with it. I will encourage you to live your life and stop wasting a perfectly healthy life for a disease you may or not inherit.  If you need help, get a good therapist to work with you.  You have to understand that your fear will not prevent you from getting mental illness, so embrace what you are now and be confident that if you should develop this illness you will find a way to deal with it then. In the meantime go out and live your life to the fullest.