I received a call at work telling me that our youngest son had had a psychotic break and been picked up by the police and taken to the emergency room. What did that mean? I had no clue what the word “psychotic” meant. What in the world was going on? I could barely breathe. I left work and rushed to the hospital. I’ll never forget entering that bare locked room in the emergency department. There was my precious 17- year- old son lying all alone with a look of utter terror on his face. He was staring at the ceiling in silence. I took his cold hand and began to gently talk to him.
A different kind of counseling is called for when communicating with someone who cares for a loved one with mental illness. This is due to the fact that mental illness prohibits those affected by it from perceiving life in the same way as those whose minds are healthy. Depending on the illness, it may be difficult for a mentally ill person to distinguish between reality and non-reality.