Caring for People with Mental Illness
From Alzheimer’s to depression, mental illness knows no boundaries. As humans, we are very susceptible to any form of mental illness, and that’s why it is important to care for and support individuals who suffer.
Alan Beamer, a 66-year-old man from Michigan, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and has since been experiencing the absence of his once close friends. Alan’s wife, Mary Beth, decided to take action and film a brief video of her having a conversation with him about the issue.
“I’m the same old person, and I wish that all of my friends could come up and just talk to me, just like they did before… Play and joke around.”
Alan feels that people are afraid of him – that his friends cannot see him in the same way anymore. “I would love it if they came over and they stayed over for a while… we could talk.” His wife, Mary Beth (who is recording the video), states that “We’re not comfortable with it [Alzheimer’s] either, but we live it every day… we can’t get away from it.”
“It may break your heart, but if you truly loved him or loved us, you could take a few minutes out of your day, your busy day… and come see him…” finishes Mary Beth.
You can view the entire video below.
Tears do not = weakness, Beam is one of the most courageous men I know!
Posted by MaryBeth Alan Beamer on Sunday, January 3, 2016
Molly, wife of Tim Murphy, suffers from depression. As many of you know, depression often requires professional care among other external influences which include love and empathy, and oftentimes, medication.
When Molly returned from a trip to San Francisco, she was not feeling so well. When she entered her bedroom, she noticed that her husband, Tim, had written a note on their mirror, titled “Reasons I Love My Wife.” The list included:
- She is my best friend
- She never quits on herself or me
- She gives me time to work on my crazy projects
- She makes me laugh, everyday
- She is gorgeous
- She accepts the crazy person I am
- She’s the kindest person I know
- She’s got a beautiful singing voice
- She’s gone to a strip club with me
- She has experienced severe tragedy yet is the most optimistic person about humanity i know
- She has been fully supportive about my career choices and followed me each time
- Without realizing it, she makes me want to do more for her than i have ever wanted to do for anyone
- She’s done an amazing job at advancing her career path
- Small animals make her cry
- She snorts when she laughs
“It may just be a few words on my mirror, but I’ll look at them when I wake up and know I’m not alone. I’ll know I have my best friend, my co-pilot in life to help guide me through.”
This kind and thoughtful gesture emphasizes that sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of support from others to assist with depression.
Nobody should be excluded from their daily life and interactions with friends, especially when mental illness is involved. We have already allowed ourselves to become distant from each other because of technology; mental illness should not create another barrier of direct human interaction. One of the worst things that could be done to friends or family members who are suffering, is neglecting the relationship(s) entirely. Imagine that mental illness had side effects just like the cold or flu, and your friend was affected by it. You would bring them medicine, soup… anything to help them feel better. Unfortunately, mental illness does not always leave as quickly as the cold or flu, if at all, so it takes more persistence to overcome; however, that is no reason to avoid the relationship altogether. Life is short – we are all in this together.