1. I’ve seen so many people with these problems, they are debilitating and we need to encourage each other in the Lord.

  2. Mental illness affects many of my family members. Thank you, Lynn, for bravely sharing your family story. I also appreciate the helpful resources you suggested–I’m checking them out.

    1. Sarah – I think the majority of us have mental illness somewhere in our families … such like we are impacted by cancer. Let’s help one another and encourage one another to reach the potential God has poured into us even in the middle of our imperfectness. 🙂

  3. I worked in special education for 18 years. Mental and physical disorders are topics that our society needs much more education on. Our society doesn’t deal with this, but hides disabilities away in shame. The students I worked with actually had more wisdom and compassion than most “normal” people do! Thank you for helping spread awareness!! Blessings. I would love the book for myself and to share with others.

    1. Tammy – I would say that about my daughter. She is wise, discerning, compassionate, kind … many of these traits gained through all she has been through.

  4. Thank you for sharing this! My mother and many of her family members suffer(ed) from mental illness. As an adult daughter I am having trouble relating to her and figuring out the best way to deal with her. And the guilt I feel for potentially passing down these genetics to my own two daughters weighs heavy on me. I will be checking out NAMI, thank you for providing that resource! And for being willing to speak out about a difficult topic.

    1. Please do check out the family-to-family class, Jen! It helped me so very, very much! I left with a huge notebook that I can refer to again and again, not just in my own family but when also relating to others as well.

  5. Wow Lynn,

    I’m sitting here at my desk in awe of God. It’s my first day back at work for the new year and my daughter is still at home from Christmas break her 2nd year of college. Most of the break has been filled with appts and calls to psychiatrist and psychologist. Medication changes have occurred and I’m tired! I want her to be a “good state” when she goes back because when she came home 3 weeks ago she was not. Medication changes always take time to see if they work and to be honest, I don’t feel like we have time. The semester start will be here in a few days. Thank you for this post. I will certainly look into the resources. We have been living this since elementary school but the college years have brought the anxiety to a whole level and I’m doing my best to lean on God and encourage my daughter to the same but it is difficult. Thank you for sharing this as mental illness is something that is hard to understand unless you have walked through it with someone or live with it.

    1. Hi LovingMom,

      Have you investigation accommodations for your girl? Madi just got them – on her own – this year. They have been very helpful, especially when it has come to test taking.

      1. Yes Lynn she has accommodations. t his does help with tests but not the daily grind. and for this last semester even test taking was a struggle. Thank you

  6. I was recently diagnosed with Bipolar 2 last month and though it’s relieving to finally have an explanation for all my ups and downs, I struggle with the stigma attached to it. Now we are spending time learning about the disorder and trying to navigate life with it. I will most definitely check out your daughters website! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Alissa – knowing what you’ve been struggling with is a great start to moving forward.

      One thing I have learned about Bipolar is that during the swings, your mind will try to convince you that you do not need your medication. Don’t listen! Medication for Bipolar is like insulin to a diabetic. When the diabetic is feeling good, they do not stop taking their insulin; they need it.

      Medication plus therapy plus God’s word, worship and community has been the combination key for Madi. I hope you will find the same.

  7. Lynn, the story about your daughter, Madi, touched my heart. I started having panic attacks last March. I’m 65 years old and a caregiver for my ex-husband since 2009 when he lost his vision to a stroke. I have had many doctor/ER visits and tried numerous Rx unsuccessfully during the last 9 months. I continue to feel like my body is on fire each and every day. I will pray for your family and especially Madi, who is going to change the world with her determination and grit. God Bless you both.

    1. Judy – I am so very sorry. Stress really ramps up anxiety, we’ve experienced. I really want to encourage you to find a therapist. This was Madi’s first line of defense and her psychologist has been a lifeline for our family.

      Focus on the Family can recommend good, Christ-based counselors in your area.

      I hope this helps!

  8. Thank you Lynn for sharing your daughter’s story. I have 3 children struggling with mental illness. It is an upward battle, but God has remained faithful in moving in their lives. Two of these children are attorneys, and my youngest is getting through High School one day at a time. In spite of their disabilities God is using them for His glory.

  9. Lynn-this is just so timely. Just today, I started the process of securing a mental health practitioner for my 13 year old. I have cried and prayed and prayed and cried – it seems so unfair that she should have to deal with something so big as depression and anxiety at such a young age. Thank you for your message – it helped this mama realize that we aren’t alone in our struggle and that a diagnosis of mental illness doesn’t have to keep her from living a life full of success and meaning.

  10. Lynn, Thank you for sharing! I am a huge advocate in the arena of mental health. I write, speak, teach, and lead a ministry for family members that have a loved one with mental illness. I am so proud of Madi and I will head right over to her site and sign up. We have to begin stepping out and sharing to lower stigma. Of course I say that and yet I write under an alias because my loved one does not want me sharing. Hopefully, one day we will share together.

    Another great class is Family Connections for people who have a loved one with Borderline Personality Disorder – NEABPD or emotion dysregulation.

    I have many resources on my blog as well as a closed Facebook group for those that love someone with a mental disorder. It is hard on families too. We need support. Again thank you for sharing. I would love to connect at some point.

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