- Posted May 11, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Going public with mental illness
SCHIZOPHRENIA: RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE
In honor of Mother’s Day, I would like to introduce you to a loving mom who has had to live with her son’s mental illness for years. Her son was diagnosed with schizophrenia, but she could not find the right treatment to help him recover from his mental illness until after a devastating tragedy that almost took his life.
Shortly after her son graduated from high school in 2001, he suffered a schizophrenic episode that caused him to jump off the A. Piatt Andrew Bridge, an 80-foot drop to the Annisquam River below. Miraculously he survived the jump, but he spent over a year recovering from his physical injuries. He lost his left leg in the accident, “But the real tragedy was that it took five more years of fighting the mental health system to get the treatment he needed for his mental health.” replied Pacheco.
Many people with mental illness avoid getting help because of the stigma attached to mental illness; but even those brave enough to seek assistance, still have to fight negative stereotypes in order to receive proper medical treatment. Family members struggling to help loved ones with mental illness really have to rely on the medical community to assist them with treatment, support and counseling. Ms. Pacheco reached out to the National Alliance on Mental Illness for assistance and encourages other families struggling with mental illnesses to reach out as well. She feels indebted to NAMI and is pleased to announce her son has not had any further schizophrenic episodes since he received the proper medical treatment and support through NAMI. He is living a normal, happy life.
Ms. Pacheco has recently been appointed to the Board of Directors of The National Alliance on Mental Illness. She currently leads support groups to assist others struggling with disease and strives to educate the public to remove the stigma of mental illness.
After her son was treated, Ms. Pacheco's experience inspired her to write a book entitled “FIRST BREAK Schizophrenia; Recovery Is Possible” sharing her son’s heart-wrenching struggle with schizophrenia. Her book was released on March 20, 2014 through Create Space, a division of Amazon.com.
Mental illness is simply an illness affecting the brain and patients can have their symptoms controlled through lifestyle changes, medication and medical treatment. Her main message is “there is hope, and there is recovery from schizophrenia.”