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How mental health problems affect relationships: ‘They’re scared that this time you might die’

Apr 2nd, 2017 by

Readers explain the impact of their mental health disorders on family and friends as part of the MQ Speak your Mind series

Last night I had a dream about my eldest son who’s just turned 11. Because of my mental illness, I have not been able to speak to or see my three boys for eight months now. In the dream I’m hangin’ with my eldest, shooting the breeze as we’ve done many a time, but this time I notice a difference; his voice has broken, and with this realisation my heart broke, too.

This dream is analogous of all those golden moments of childhood I have missed in their lives, that can never be relived, moments that seem even more precious when it comes to my eldest, as he rapidly approaches adolescence. The dream also feels analogous of everything I’ve lost as a result of mental illness; my marriage, career, liberty (sectioned twice), self-respect and societal approval.

Related: Living with schizophrenia: ‘There is a wall of doubt, stigma and pain’

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