Effect of Mental Health on Families

A survey showed that more than 80% of people with mental illness had a detrimental impact on the people closest to them. Unfortunately, when it comes to mental health in the household, the emotional health of family members goes unnoticed. A person’s depression can have a domino effect and cause depression, insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, and migraines in other family members.

After I had my disaster hysterectomy operation (My Traumatic Hysterectomy), I was left with tachycardia. I felt anxiety all the time that I could have a heart attack at any moment. My heartbeat worsened anytime I consumed caffeine or chocolate. My anxiety and stress escalated so much that I could barely function. I constantly felt horrendously fatigued and sick. I suffered from numerous panic attacks and lived every day in fear of dying. My beautiful family were at a loss as to how to help me. I struggled to make the specialists understand my worries over my ill health. I knew that what I was feeling was real and wrong, but no one would investigate. Most doctors just said to think more positively, get over it. Each day will get better etc.,

My girls were still little, my eldest only seven years old. They still heavily depended on me, and I felt like I was failing them. I couldn’t do the activities that I wanted to do with my family. I wanted to play with my children, take them to parks, host playdates. While I still tried to provide fun and amusement for my girls. It was such a monumental, arduous task that I struggled to enjoy.

I know it was painful for my family. They could see my emotional demons and fear written across my face. I was weak and weighed down from anxiety, and it showed. Mustering the energy to drag myself out of bed, feed, dress and send my daughter off to school was nothing short of a crippling nightmare. Every day, I woke with debilitation, headaches, nausea, and panic. I felt like an absolute failure because I couldn’t keep up, and I had to rely heavily on my husband for help.

Feelings of hopelessness crowded my mind. My darling husband was already under a lot of stress. Prior to my operation, we had purchased a block of land and had started building our house. We decided that we would construct and oversee the build as owner builders. Although I tried, I felt useless to help him.

Even though I feared dying. There were times where I wanted to die. I felt like a burden on my family, and I contemplated on various occasions whether they would be better off without me. However, it was only the love of my family and the need to be there for my girls which kept me living.

Moreover, after three years of living like hell, I found help (Living with PTSD). After a doctor determined that my affliction wasn’t physical, I was referred to a psychiatrist. I was extremely apprehensive. I felt misdiagnosed as I firmly believed that my affliction was physical. However, after finally receiving a diagnosis of PTSD, severe anxiety, and insomnia. I was put on a high dose of Sertraline, Lithium, and Seroquel, and I began to recover to my surprise. I was only required to take Lithium for a short period to overcome my anxiety quickly, and once the worst was over, I was able to come off. Although, I am still happily on Sertraline etc. 

Unfortunately, my mental health had also taken a toll on my family. I wasn’t always mentally present, and I failed to see the warning signs that my girls were struggling with anxiety and depression. So while I was healing, I also had to care for them and help them heal. They had been having issues with stress and bullying at school, and I didn’t realize the extent of the problem.

The Brightside of my living hell was that I could empathize with my daughter’s anxieties and help them. As a result, they are both on antidepressants and are happily living. Thank goodness I can now recognize the symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.


Does Mental Health Affect Family Relationships? | Priory (priorygroup.com)

Families, friends & carers (sane.org)

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