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The Sibling Voice
By HELLEN THORNING, M.S., C.S.W. & ELLEN P. LUKENS  M.S.W., Ph.D
"With the eruption of mental  illness, siblings experience confusion, stress, fear for their sibling and for themselves, disruptions in the family and profound sadness and pain for the ill sibling."

Growing Up With Schizophrenia - Coming to Terms With a Sister's Illness
By SUSAN HIRSCH
"When asked if I had siblings, I usually claimed to be an only child. I was afraid that anyone knowing about my sister, would think that there was something 'wrong' with me too. A guy I was dating broke up with me since his mother was fearful of his possibly marrying me and then having 'crazy' children."

Setting Boundaries
By AMY C. WHITE
"these steps lead to clear boundaries for oneself that allows the relationship with the ill person to resume a place in one's life, but not to take over one's entire life or prevent one from ever planning their own life because they have to always be 'on-call' for the next crisis."

SIBCHAT: Advocating for Brothers & Sisters
By RACHAL BLUMSTEIN
"many sibling-advocates feel that having a brother or sister with a disability has helped them to learn that a person's value should not be measured in IQ tests."

Book Review: The Hillside Diary and Other Writings
By CARL BLUMENTHAL

"I identify Robert's literary lineage as the 'silver-lining' school of writing. No matter how bad his situation, he puts a good face on things.."
 

NAMI Walks for the Mind of America in New York State
JANET SUSIN, NAMI WALK COORDINATOR, LONG ISLAND/QUEENS NAMI WALK COALITION

Persevering with a Special Needs Child
By KURT DOUGLAS SASS

"I picked up a chair and threw it past Kurt, close enough for the others in the room to think he was the target. I will never forget the look of fear on Kurt's face for as long as I live..Was it worth it? Yes."

Care for Caregivers

By RITA SEIDEN, C.S.W., Ph.D.
"Caregivers need to take a break.  Mental health workers need to take their vacations, leave the office at a reasonable time, and generally know their limitations.  Family caregivers need to be 'off duty' on a regular basis."

Express to Paradise: A Mother's Story
By PAM SILVESTRI
"When an express train going north came through the station, Lisa vaulted in front of it to her death. Those dreaded voices urged her to leave this earth and her miserable existence."

A Father's Story
By JACOB L. FREY
"To my surprise, they took Daniel to an isolation room. I was shocked, he was not a criminal! At that point I felt horrible that I brought him to the hospital."

Tribute
By LEON MARQUIS
"I bolted out of the Emergency Room. ... But you know, even though it was six or so in the morning, and even though I'm an adult, Mommy was following behind me. You wouldn't believe the energy in this sixty-five year old woman."

Ask the Therapist, May 1999
By RITA SEIDEN, C.S.W., Ph.D
"I'm 28 years old and live at home with my parents. I suffer from manic depressive illness. My parents expect my therapist and doctor to share everything about my therapy and my medication with them. Don't I have any right to privacy?"

Ask the Therapist, July 1999
By RITA SEIDEN, C.S.W., Ph.D
"Aging parents of disabled adult children are often in a quandary. They want the child to be independent but the history of illness and acute episodes gives the parents' anxiety a basis in reality."

When Going Back to School is Not Going On
By CAROLINE S. CLAUSS, Ph.D.
"My parents made me go to school, but I didn't do the work. I wouldn't even talk. Eventually my mom took me to the doctor. He said I was extremely shy. He told us I would grow out of it."

Once the Son, Now the Father
By ERIC ROSEN
"My Dad had a smile as broad and warm as any I've ever known. He liked funny jokes, and he laughed, and loved to make us laugh. But that was before Dad became sad. Then he talked only late at night in his room."

You'll Not Steal My Son's Life!
By BEVERLY GALE
"None of us had been on the psychiatric floor of a hospital. Speaking as a parent, no training can prepare you for this shocker."

A Father's Story, One Year Later
By JACOB  FREY, Circulation Director
"All I could think of was this young man who didn't speak to me was my son. ... In a small room he was ill and needed my help."

Aging Parents Worry About Mentally Ill Children
By KATHI WOLFE
"Schaefer, 71, and her 74-year-old husband have learned to relinquish the dreams they once had for their 44-year-old son, a talented artist. ... After a long struggle ... he is now a patient at a Maryland psychiatric hospital."

Out to Prove Them Wrong
By SHARON GRAVENER
"I have two sons who spent years in foster care because no one believed or will ever believe that I am capable of taking care of my sons again."

Families and Consumers: Coalescing Constituencies
By LAURIE FLYNN
"Ken and the Voter Empowerment Project give consumers and families, NAMI and NMHA, and you and me, a place to work together. And working together, we truly can change the world."

My Sister, My Struggle
"I sink down in my seat, hoping that she won't see me; that she won't call out. I don't want anyone to know she knows me."

Mother of Suicide Victim Speaks Out
By DAVID KELLOGG
"Five days after his suicide, Mrs. Harrington was notified that her son's Medicaid application had been approved."

Providing A Future
By DAVID C. KAPLAN
"One of the most troubling questions the parent of a mental health consumer faces is how to provide for the child after they are gone."

The Genius Claimed By Schizophrenia: Memories Of My Sister
By CHRIS O'LOUGHLIN
"She would often be charged with explaining to me plot twists in movies we would watch together as kids. And it would be she, the little girl, who would have to comfort me, her older brother, concerning the unreality of scary monster movies."

Coordinated Children's Services Initiative
By MICHELLE MUNSON and TERRIL PILE
"My son is out of control. He was kicked out of school. Now they are trying to blame me for it. I didn't do anything wrong."

Destigmatizing Mental Illness Through the Schools
By JANET SUSIN
"What, she wondered, had happened to her brother ... And what should she do about classmates who were overheard making fun of her brother and calling him 'a mental?'"

Answers From Margaret Ray's Mother
By DAN FREY
"We all remember Margaret Ray who became fodder for the tabloid media for becoming obsessed with talk-show host David Letterman."

The Procreative Urge
By SHEILA HAGEMAN
"And then the deeper questions surface. Will I be a good mother? Will I pass on my illness to our children? I know I'll be a good mom, but...wait, how can I know?"

A Pregnant Pause: Anti-Psychotic Medication And Growing A Baby
By BONNIE CHERNIN
"Growing a baby while taking anti-psychotic medication can be a reality. I have only to hold my two-month-old daughter in my arms to know this is true."

It Takes Work to Be Married
By RODNEY

"I have been married for over two years and I have a hurdle in my life called schizophrenia. It is great being married, sharing your life with somebody you love and will be with for the rest of your life. I do definitely recommend marriage to anyone who wants to do it, but it does take work."

Persevering with a One-of-a-Kind Child
By KURT DOUGLAS SASS

"We just don't have the adequate staff to meet Kurt's special needs."

My Brother's Illness
BY ANONYMOUS

"My big brother was my hero, my friend and my knight in shining armor; he was wrenched from me by mental illness when I was five."

We Should Allow Our Families to Talk to Our Professionals
BY CRAIG R. BAYER

"I began to realize that if I wanted to keep my family in my life and I wanted to lessen the constant tension and conflict both with and within them, I had to let my family talk to my doctors."


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