A Letter to Those Who Care for People With Mental Illness


To the parents, grandparents, partners, siblings, teachers, guardians or best friends of a person like me,

We see you.

We see you as you sit with us when we cry so hard we can’t breathe. We see you when you hold us a little tighter in a hug because you know that’s all you can do in that moment to make us feel better.

We see you when you give us space because we can’t cope with the world right now. We see you when you change the topic of conversation to get the attention off us, because you know we feel like we’re being flayed alive under the scrutiny of those around us.

We see you when you leave a call or text asking how we are doing. We see you when you let us leave your classroom to be alone for a while. We see you when you pick up our prescriptions, drop us off at the therapist and when you listen to us go over the same topic for two hours because we just need you to tell us we are not a “bad person.” We see you. We may not be able to articulate to you just how appreciative we are to have you in our lives, but please know we don’t take you for granted. From the bottom of our hearts… thank you.

Thank you for trying to understand. Thank you for loving us and our illness because it is a part of us and who we are. Thank you for everything. We know it isn’t easy sometimes, yet every day you choose to help us. Just know we appreciate you. We know that will never be enough to repay you, but know that you are what keeps us going, you are what makes us fight, you are what makes us want to live. We fight for you. This disease is not just ours, it is yours too.

To the people who care for us, we see you. You are not lost to us, and “thank you” will never be enough.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Image via waewkid


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Mental Health

Side view of a sad woman sitting curled up in nature.

You've Relapsed. Now What?

Breathe. No matter how far you are in recovery, it can happen. I have had two relapses in my many-year recovery journey. Both times felt awful but I also learned many lessons. I also would not be where I am today without the help I sought after each relapse. In order to have a “successful” relapse, you [...]
Man with mirror in front of face, reflecting sky

When You 'Lose Yourself' to Mental Illness

It felt like trying to stay afloat but suffocating and drowning. Like being resuscitated, my body was given life again but everything known to me had died. This is what it’s like to lose yourself. Your own experiences are foreign. As if somebody took their pain, their hurt, their trauma and inserted it into your [...]

Trump Isn't Mentally Ill, Psychiatrist Who Defined Narcissistic Personality Disorder Says

Donald Trump might be a narcissist, but he doesn’t have narcissistic personality disorder, said Allen Frances, M.D., the psychiatrist who created the diagnostic criteria for the personality disorder. In a letter to the New York Times, Frances notes that while Trump may be a narcissist, there is a difference between having narcissistic tendencies and having a mental [...]
Male psychologist making notes during psychological therapy. Text reads: The advice no one tells you about going to therapy

The Advice No One Tells You About Going to Therapy

  The first time my mom took me to see a therapist, I made her promise she would never take me back. I was 15. Then, at 21, I tried again — this time at my college’s counseling center. I was unimpressed, but I stuck with it, happy to ramble to someone for free. When [...]