During my childhood, my mum had depression which made her isolated. My dad died when I was young from a car accident as a result of crossing the road, which caused my mum to deteriorate in her mental state. She began to become increasingly paranoid and angry.
After sitting down several times with my mum and advising her to get the help she needs, she would become very dismissive and paranoid. Her fear was that and my sister and I would be taken away from her if she asked for help. This stopped my mum reaching out for help for many years. I felt helpless and upset.
Eventually, she was referred through her GP and met with a psychologist. She later was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and received counselling and medication. Following this, I saw a drastic change in her mental state and the paranoia became less.
My mum battled so hard to care for me and my sister and succeeded throughout the struggles she experienced as a single parent with a mental illness.
This inspired me to pursue academic study and a career in the field of mental health. Here I am aged 22 years, now an assistant psychologist with a master’s degree in psychological therapies. I am also in the process of publishing my dissertation titled ‘the impacts of parental schizophrenia on the psychosocial well-being of offspring’ with the hope that support can be provided for those that experienced similar situations as me.
The work that Our Time does is beyond inspirational. Thank you for giving me a platform to express my voice.