An Important Resource, A Shared Experience

It has been over a year since the pandemic began impacting our daily lives.  We have managed to find ways to connect, and we have developed alternate rituals to celebrate lifespan events like holidays, birthdays, deaths, etc.  The awareness of mental health issues has become more prevalent in our daily conversations as anxiety and depression rear their symptoms through isolation, social distancing, and changes in our daily routines.  As the weather improves and more people become vaccinated, we are making tentative steps towards a return to more typical social interactions.  This, too, brings the return of spring symptoms, mania, anxiety, and impulsivity, especially in the wake of a healing world.  Caregivers have endured and managed, as best as they can, to be present and balance the needs of the whole with the needs of the one.

Through reading a blog by Pete Earley, http://www.peteearley.com/2021/03/22/struggles-parents-family-face-in-powerful-documentary-about-mental-illness-will-be-shown-on-pbs-but-only-if-you-call-do-it/ , I previewed the documentary, “That Way Madness Lies,” by Sandra Luckow.  It is set to be aired on PBS beginning April 5 and it is well worth your time.  The film depicts a family with a brother/son (Duane) who experiences paranoid schizophrenia rather late, in his forties, although there were indicators earlier that were missed.  Sandra and her parents clearly travel the paths that so many of us do, from focusing on the loved one who is ill to the collateral impact on the rest of the family.  It is interesting that some of the footage is from Duane himself; this is a family that enjoyed telling their stories through video media.  Sandra, as the sister and daughter, assisted her parents and her brother in caregiving, traveling from the east coast to the west coast too many times.  One of the many takeaways from this film is that families are greater than the sum of their parts.  In other words, when one member gets sick, the whole family is impacted.  This is our lived experience as family members and it is ignored by contemporary medical and psychiatric models.  I strongly suggest that you take the time and become acquainted with this documentary!  I have posted snippets and a ted talk interview on our blog, https://growastrongfamily.org/that-way-madness-lies/ .  We will be discussing this on Wed April 21 at 12 noon, during our monthly Replanting Lives session.  Hi there,

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: April 21, 2021 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

We have been and continue to be zooming coaching sessions.  It is a wonderful way to manage your caregiving responsibilities in “real time” as things pop up.  Feel free to give yourselves the benefit of a cheerleader in your corner, someone knowledgeable and ready to support you on this journey.


As ever, thank you for supporting us in supporting caregivers impacted by someone’s mental illness/brain disorder.  If you can, feel free to donate!  https://growastrongfamily.org/donate/

Please continue to take good, loving care of yourselves.  And when you need information, consider visiting our website!  It is chock full of great content.  https://growastrongfamily.org/

Be well!  DON’T GO IT ALONE!  We are here for you!