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Life choices of a military veteran raised with a dad with schizophrenia. Dealing with retirement

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my father was diagnosed with schizophrenia and i i found that out at a very young age i found out as i was growing up and then later on i was always reminded of it uh that my thought that i was born like two and a half months early because my father decided that it would be a good thing to try and get money from my mother and she was like seven and a half eight months pregnant at the time and he couldn't he couldn't uh catch her and he decided to throw a lead pipe at my mother and she because it hit her in the head she was became unconscious and there was a chance she was going to die and lose us at the same time so uh we were me and my twin brother were born early um and this was all because of the mental issues that he was going through and honestly there was i mean just that alone was pretty it was pretty big did you find out about this incident like at what age were you told that this is what happened what did you always know um no i i didn't i didn't i had no idea until probably when i was a team as a teenager um i don't think it was something that was hidden but um my mom was she was she liked to keep like some of those things to herself because you know um maybe because of one reason like maybe embarrassment or just trying to protect us would have been a big reason uh she would have kept something like that from me and my brothers so um that was uh definitely a shock but i mean my experience with my father was never never horrible never bad i didn't have any of those experiences um until later on um but that was when he was closer to where he was gonna pass from this world it's just uh his mental health issues became worse as he got older uh he was like diagnosed like 14 different types of medications and he didn't like to take them and he sometimes refused to take them and because of that he got he got substantially worse um i know that like 10 10 years before he passed he was stopped he was driving to uh to a city where we used to live when i was little and you stop by the officer and the officer comes up to him and asks him what are you doing sir because he was driving erratically and he's and he tells the officer i'm driving to the city to see my uh well ex-wife and my kids and he was thinking i was like five and i was already an adult by the time this happened and this is what happens when you don't when he wasn't taking his medication and when he was diagnosed i i guess early on he was also in the navy but as far as that i never heard any issues but the treatment way to treat mental health issues has changed over time as well um and it's been it's very interesting i i didn't do a lot of research but it wasn't anything that would have been good to treat mental health um yeah no so sorry to hear that i mean that's really a hard thing right for a child to see his father in that state and to hear what happened to his mother is also must be really traumatic for you but the good thing is that you forgive him and you actually loved him too right you understood that he could not help it yeah i mean i've i've always had trouble coming to grips with that because i mean my parents were my world when i was obviously when i was growing up and i it's just my world revolved around them yeah and i always i can't say i've always tried but i always liked tried to listen to my mother um and uh i think also because of the way that my dad was um i was more shut in i stayed away from all other people i didn't really have a lot of friends i didn't have a lot of friends so i think that that was also something that added to um you know those mental health issues and the anxiety that came a little bit with it yeah i mean i can imagine right like as a child you see your father is different from the friend's father so it must be pretty difficult for you to even like face that fact right i'll see how actually yeah good you were also talking a little bit that after you retired from the military right uh how's life been after that so um it was difficult and i i mean i wouldn't say it's a daily event but i mean the military is completely a different way of life uh i liked i liked talking to other soldiers our people just people and uh we had good rapport i was able to talk to them they talked to me and we had good conversations but since i retired that went away yeah and i'd have to say i was i mean that that brought a lot of anxiety um not to say that i i mean i don't have a lot of friends and i mean that start all started with i'd have to say the mental health issues that my dad had i'm not i shouldn't blame anyone but i mean it's just the way that i was raised and what i saw and who i am so keeping busy really helped you uh yes discipline and keeping busy was probably really good for your self right and now you have all the time and you're trying to figure out what's the next phase of life being at this age is really hard yeah i i think it's in i think it's difficult for anyone but i mean trying to overcome something that's you know in in your genetics is uh it's scary too right you don't know some things that you got maybe out of control i i try not to think of that my mom has has told me though if if ever if there's ever a time where you don't feel right please seek help and i'm like just thinking about that now is like that's not good to hear but are you not seeking help at all um well me and my wife we go to therapy uh because i mean i mean though they just yeah actually better i mean because of going to therapy i'm able to express myself better and that's actually been a plus from from going to therapy yeah i mean yeah no i understand where you're coming from and i'm so glad that our cause is being able to help you find some meaningful work and you're a great contributor and i appreciate everything that you do for us thank you great thank you so much [Music]

More Information

The exact causes of schizophrenia are unknown. Research suggests a combination of physical, genetic, psychological and environmental factors can make a person more likely to develop the condition. A military veteran shares raised under mental health and schizophrenia has affected his life choices. If you need support for a specific mental health problem—or if you’re having problems sleeping, controlling your anger, or readjusting to civilian life—you are not alone. Over 1.7 million Veterans received mental health services at VA last year. Our goal is to help you take charge of your treatment and live a full and meaningful life. #mentalhealth #fatherandson #retirement #schizophrenia

What an Expert Says

In this video <>, Dr. Seema Segal, a practicing psychiatrist with over 25 years of experience, discusses the emotional responses of children who grow up in a household where a family member has a mental illness. Depending on the age of the child, the responses can vary from fear, confusion, worry, guilt, and shame. Dr. Segal explains how disruptions in the family system can affect the child's development and the challenges they may face in adulthood. She also addresses how partners and spouses who are supporting someone with mental illness can take care of themselves and recognize when they need help. #mentalhealth #mentalillnesssupport #family #children #emotions #support #selfcare #partners #mentalhealthmatters #breakingthestigma #familyconversations #empoweringconversations


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