How Adult Children Cope With a Sibling’s Mental Illness

Over a lifetime, the longest relationship typically is not with parents, partners or children, but with siblings. Research focused on these family ties identifies five types of sibling relationships: the intimate, the congenial, the loyal, the apathetic and the hostile.” But when a sibling suffers from a mental illness, the relationship can fall outside those norms. Indeed, the Alliance on Mental Illness noted:  It is now understood that mental illness in a family creates a ripple effect that can capsize …

‘Homeland’ Finale – Mental Illness as Superpower

The season finale Sunday of Homeland marks the climax of a trifecta of sorts. The Showtime spy thriller is joined by a nearly surefire Oscar nominee for Best Picture (Silver Linings Playbook) and one of the best-reviewed Broadway musicals of recent years (Next to Normal) – completing a trio of powerful genre-busting works of art in which bipolar disorder drives the plot and is at the heart of the main character’s identity. So what does this mean for the rest …

Grieving the Loss of My Niece

It was a late night phone call while I was away on business travel. I immediately felt a knot in my stomach, fearing it would be about my parents in Arizona. But it wasn’t. It was worse. It was a family friend. “Shaelee is dead,” she said. Just like that. The sound of those words is harshly embedded in my memory; a constant reminder of our instantly new reality. She was gone. Nothing we could do would help her anymore.