May is Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month, and in this context I would like to turn our attention to the parents of adult children suffering from mental health issues and addictions. Our lives as parents are focused on our children. The well-being and success of our children is, for many of us for many years the most important aspect or our existence.

Our connection to generations before us and to those that will follow is created and felt through our children. Our hopes and wishes for their future and for their happiness, our pride in their accomplishments, fill our hearts with exuberant joy, and our misery at their disappointments and heartbreaks is more intense than the sorrow we feel for our own failures or losses.

Parents of adult children with mental illness or addictions are often forced to watch, helplessly, as their adult child stumbles over multiple obstacles. Their immense pain over the loss of the hoped-for future of their child is sometimes aggravated by the loss of the relationship and the connection to the child, because of the behaviors associated with illness or with the addictions. In this month dedicated to mental health, it is important to remember those who live with adult children, try to support them, and suffer with them and alongside them.

Irit Felsen

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