I just read Jessie’s book on her extraordinary journey and found it both sad and encouraging. Although, she had a very strong advantage over many of us who do not have such a strong support system consisting of family and financial support. I being one of the many.
My daughter is 29 years old and has been diagnosed with Schizoaffective DO/Bipolar Type. She began cutting herself when she was 14 but I attributed this to the anxiety of my divorcing her father. I took her to several psychiatrists in our area who diagnosed her at that time with anxiety, depression and ADD. Over the next several years she would hold down a job, leave the job, get another one and so forth. During this time she also began hearing voices and having visual hallucinations. Of course, I was wracked with guilt about the divorce, about my knowing that mental illness was on my side of the family, and finding out that my ex mother-in-law had a psychotic disorder (never diagnosed).
My poor daughter inherited this illness from both sides of her family. My family consisting of my parents and brother have never been supportive. I started working in the mental health field and obtained my Masters in Social Work and became very friendly with one of the psychiatrists. When he left and opened his private practice, I took my daughter to him. He officially diagnosed her with Schizoaffective Bipolar Type. I felt like someone punched me in the stomach. I worked with patients with this disorder, how could my daughter have this??
This diagnosis led to many medication trials, side effects, reoccurring symptoms etc. This past May, my daughters symptoms became worse and she had to be hospitalized for the first time. It was a surreal experience for all of us. She lost her job and recently applied for SSD. She is now stable. As for me, I also lost my job due to many medical issues including anxiety, depression, PTSD (from mothers verbal and emotional abuse) and OCD. I am still grieving the fact that my daughter will never have a normal relationship, probably never have children, be financially secure or cured. We both take one day at a time and I just pray there will come a day where I can see my daughter living independently and happy with her life. We are not there yet.