Being Catholic with mentally ill parents

Growing up Catholic is the greatest gift that I can ever get. Youth is great. Masses are the best prayer. But, what about the purpose of Sunday that christ wants us to rest on Sundays? Every other day of the week is great until Sunday; everyone is home. Everyone is home, but my father is home and mentally ill with severe neuropathy. He works every single day, runs a business that he wants to run but hates, and then comes home and depresses myself, my brother, and my mother day and night yearlong. I don’t know what to say from here other than I care about the issues my father has and my mothers stress she gets from my father. Every Sunday is a complete mess. Sundays are never peaceful with a father that isn’t religious just because he thinks church is a waste of time and energy. How do I expect myself to resist these evil matters every Sunday? Our family is mostly disgusted upon over my dad’s embarrassing attitude. Family isn’t the same as it used to be. Why do parents think they just want to depress us when it isn’t our problems? Why does no one want to pay my father? It seems like these days everyone wants to affect those that do right. With myself in college as a freshman and performing pretty well, finding a job for my occupation is hard in this small town. I work for a father that appreciates the help, but would rather torture us with depression rather than love. Sundays are so bad I camp out in my room or worse leave. I’m in separate need of prayers to find a better job, heal my family, and end this disaster. I offer support but is not taken. God hears me, yet prayers are a necessity in this painful life. Youth and Stuebenville are my happiest times. Coming home afterwards feels like walking into hell. I wish I can have a information technology job at church rather than an isolated world. I donate as God calls to at church and in the field. Still, why do I face this harsh reality?

St. Dymphna is the Patron Saint of those with mental or nervous disorders. Ask her and all Holy Saints to intercede on behalf of your Dad and actually for your whole family that this depressing atmosphere doesn’t happen anymore and definitely doesn’t get any worse.


Perspective. No matter how you feel right now, temporal sufferings come to an end. Bear with them patiently, following the example of Christ and the saints.


I am not sure that you should be calling your parents mentally ill in the circumstances you describe. Yes, there is a lot of stress and tension going on, and your father may be in a miserable mood due to his business, but to say he is mentally ill may be incorrect, and unkind.

In any case, as Dan_Defender already mentioned, it’s all in your perspective. I know it doesn’t feel like it, and you may not know anyone else with the same family dynamic, you are not alone. Many families have similar things going on, but outwardly appear fine.

Yes, stay in your room if you must, or go outside, or to the library if you want to avoid your family. But perhaps you could lighten your father’s mood or help him somehow.

If your father is truly depressed, I doubt he is torturing you on purpose. It is a symptom of his stress. Someday, you may look back and better understand your parents. There may be a lot you are unaware of at this point.

Try to find compassion for your father.


How awful. You clearly have no idea what people with depression go through.

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Can you persuade your father to see his doctor, and perhaps get help for his depression?
Sometimes we have to distance ourselves from our family members, for our own sanity. It’s important to separate your personal problems from your family’s problems, which may not be your responsibility to solve.
Praying for peace in your heart.

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Is your father on medication or is this mental illness from your own observations?
In this case I see two issues, your father’s mental illness and the fact that he is an atheist. In the case of his atheism I think you should learn to let some things go. I think you should respect him and you should have the right to be respected also.

Your situation sounds like my situation growing up.
Dad took out his moods on the rest of us. Sunday was the worst day. Depressing and dreary.
On the natural level, all you can really do is tough it out until you grow up and move away.
On the supernatural level, you have prayer, and you have the virtue of patience and gentleness.

It sounds in your post like it wasn’t always this way? That Sunday’s were fun once, and then something happened to change all that?

FWIW, when I grew up and learned more of the family stories (and also learned more about psychology and human nature) I was able to become a lot more compassionate towards my parents and the cascade of misfortune they underwent to get them to that place.
But it took time.

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