Letters to the Editor
RE: “I just didn’t care anymore”
While this may be a valuable resource to those suffering from depression, I would like to take this time to advocate for the caregivers. We can all agree that having a mental illness is difficult and that those people need strong support systems as well as professional help. However, speaking from experience, I know that supporting someone suffering from a mental illness can be equally difficult. I believe that it is important for everyone involved to get the support they need.
I dated a man who suffered from Schizophrenia and though I cared about him and wanted the best for him there came a point in the relationship, when, for the safety of my mental and physical well-being I needed to walk away. This was an extremely difficult decision to make because I was one of his main supports. I left the relationship because I felt emotionally and mentally abused; I experienced heightened levels of anxiety and exhaustion. I know that my case is not unique and many caregivers feel this way. Since leaving the relationship I am feeling stronger and more like myself, but it has taken time, many counseling appointments and support from my group of friends and family.
I believe it is important for society to focus on the whole- not just the person with mental illness. It is imperative to make sure, as caregivers you are seeking the support you need. I want people to know that there is nothing wrong with walking away if your well-being is compromised. It is your responsibility, first and foremost to take care of yourself. It’s like on an airplane- you have to put on your oxygen mask before helping another person.