I'm just going to go ahead and warn that this post may not make a ton of sense. It will probably be a jumbled mess of my thoughts, but I just need to get them out.
A close family member is going through some pretty serious issues and has been for the past 4 months. I won't go into all the details, obviously, but it's been a rough road. While I've been dealing with it second-hand and have been trying to support as much as possible, the past few days have been way more up close and personal as some of the other family who are closer needed a break and so did the person in question.
I've said before that I've dealt with some serious anxiety/panic issues in the past. Over time, it has gotten way better and now, while I do worry and get anxious more than I probably need to, I only have one or two true incidents a year. So, in some way, I do have an idea of what this person is going through when they are having an incident, but having witnessed it firsthand, I realize it's way beyond "simple" anxiety.
I say "simple" because it's a lot easier to recognize/diagnose and to manage, in the grand scheme of what others deal with. I also say "simple" because, for me (and from what a lot of people I've spoken to who have panic/anxiety also describe), we still have a grip on reality. We might be worrying about or picturing extreme scenarios, but there is still a part that understands that we're being completely irrational and ridiculous in that moment. It usually makes me even more upset, but I do KNOW that it's all in my head. I also can fairly quickly find a way to calm myself down or break the destructive train of thought. I still can name all the good and the reasons in my life to not stay in that bad place. I know why I need to fight my way out of it. Even better, with a lot of time and learning to cope, I can now recognize when I'm about to go off the deep end. I know the signs and can usually reign myself in before it gets to a point of out of control.
There is no rationalizing or calming this person down. At all. It's full-blown paranoia, fear, and delusion. There is no hope and no good.
It is the most frustrating and scary thing in the world to try to convince someone that there is a reason to put one foot forward when they just don't see it. It's incomprehensible when you know all of the good in life and the person in front of you can't.
I truly believe there is something going on besides circumstance. That there is a mental condition at play. However, it's been very difficult to convince "the major players" of this and it's been impossible to get enough stability with a medical professional to be able to determine what EXACTLY the case may be.
The system can be pretty screwed up when someone goes from being a healthy, thriving, sane individual to all of a sudden not being able to function. I've seen evidence of how a person with a mental illness can end up homeless. Thankfully, it has not gotten to that point, yet, and there are enough people trying to fight for this person that there's great hope that it won't come to that. But, I can see why it happens. It's an endless cycle of bandaids, but no actual treatment.
I just wish there was a magical way to get answers and start to make things better. I know that it takes time and effort. I just keep having faith that God has a plan and everything will fall into place, eventually.