Dignity

Dignity

Dignity is an inherent sense of value and worth that I believe is a building block of self-esteem. We all need to be given acknowledgment of our worth and be given the ability to make choices so that we feel respected. This is important to make us feel our life is worthwhile. My daughter explained to me one day that she was tired of people looking down at her and treating her as though she was stupid. She felt that her dignity was being stripped from her. All she wanted was for people to acknowledge her as a valued human being and listen to her instead of just telling her what to do. She wanted to let people know that just because she has a mental illness it does not mean she is mentally deficient or retarded.

 

Cognition

Cognition

Cognition, or information processing, is often affected by mental illness. My daughter had a tough time being able to make choices and to follow simple sequences of tasks. Her thinking and perception were impaired, and it took time before she regained these skills. Cognitive difficulties were not immediately apparent to me and it was frustrating until I learned that issues like this were common with mental illness. When I recognized that she was not necessarily being lazy or making unwise decisions, that she just simply could not process the information correctly, it was a lot easier for me to accept why she was not helping out around the house.