Agree or Disagree: Caretakers of the mentally ill can publicly talk about their experiences.


Every once in a while, I get requests to do an Agree or Disagree. This is a request. And, it is an important topic.

There has been lots of discussion around the stigma of mental illness. It has been important. However, we haven’t had a lot of discussion around caretakers of the mentally ill.

When I was discussing this with my friend, we decided this word would be best. It covers, friends, family and professional supporters of those who are mentally ill.  So, when you are responding, think of it that way.

Here’s the background of the request. For confidentially reasons, the person who requested this will be kept anonymous.

I feel like people talking about mental health is awesome, but there is a complete lack of support for people who are caretakers/partners/children of the mentally ill. We’re not allowed to talk about our own struggles when our lives are affected by mental illness that isn’t our own.

As someone who comes from mentally ill parent(s), and who has been a partner to people with mentally illness or addiction issues, it can be excruciatingly lonely and difficult. I don’t dare open up about this stuff because it treads a line of “slander” or privacy breach. I’ve been condemned for trying to talk about my experiences and seeking support from my community/friends/family.

Where is the help for the caretakers? Are we to suffer quietly because we should respect the privacy of the mentally ill?

Especially when the mentally ill have no/little respect for us, or have been abusive?

What are your thoughts? Is there support for caretakers of the mentally ill? Can they publicly talk about their experiences? Is it a safe environment for them to speak?