A Mother's Story
My son’s life will never be what we had planned it to be.….
I was introduced to Coastal Behavioral Healthcare a few years ago when my kind, smart 24-year old son was diagnosed with schizophrenia. His life up to that point seemed pretty normal. He attended a gifted school, played little league baseball, was an outstanding soccer player in high school on the elite travel team, was a debutante escort and was voted “most congenial” by his senior class. He also held a part-time job. During his college years, he worked several part-time jobs until he graduated with a degree in science. Then off to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree.
Soon after however, his life began to disintegrate... I would later learn that he had managed to mask and self-medicate a severe psychiatric illness for years until he was forced to return to Sarasota. With my adult son back at home, I was faced with an illness I had never seen before.
Leaving the university meant loosing campus health insurance… and that proved catastrophic. Without resources and family support, I anxiously pursued insight into this bizarre change in personality. My attempts to deal with this illness included private psychiatrists I could not afford; a new age medication; holistic supplements and rituals; walk-in clinics, weekly prayer meetings; etc. Nothing was working and my son was declining more each day. I watched his illness develop into psychosis, hallucinations and delusions, and it was more than I could bear. My own mental health declined as well.
Thank God someone told me about Coastal Behavioral Healthcare. Finally, there were resources and places to take my son for help. Finally, there were people who did not run in the other direction. Finally, there were trained professionals available to us who understood what was happening and who were equipped to make quick decisions for my son’s health and safety.
Because of Coastal’s staff and medical resources, my son is now stable and can live independently again. While still not capable of working, he is currently volunteering a few hours through Coastal’s partnerships in the community. The quality of his statistically short life is dependent upon an aging mother, behavioral health programs, and the benevolence of those who are willing to share from their abundance.
When he was first diagnosed my own shock, fear, confusion, guilt, and grief morphed into a seething anger and righteous indignation. Now, it motivates me to work harder to get help for those in need and to expose the injustice of the discrimination and stigma associated with mental illness. Coastal needs your support to help those in our community in need of care. I urgently ask you to make a contribution today.