When someone we know and love is suffering from mental illness, it is difficult to know how to help and interact with them. Through the experiences I've had with my mother, I have learned some valuable lessons that I would like to share with anyone who struggles with mental illness in their own family. Each lesson is a principle of the gospel that can be directly applied to helping us understand and relate to someone who suffers from mental illness.
My mother was diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder when I was 17. Because of her illness, there were many times when her actions were hurtful, even abusive. As a teenager, I couldn't understand my mother, and I hated her because of her actions. Later, with the help of a loving mission president, I learned to truly see my mother for who she really was, a beautiful daughter of God. I was able to separate her actions from her as a person and in time learned to love and appreciate her for all she sacrificed for me.
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