I've been anxious to create this campaign, as it is more of a mental health issue rather than a less stigmatised disease / disorder. I was worried that people wouldn't be able to relate, empathise or take it seriously. But, here goes.
Our Dad is 48 years old, and a father to the three of us. In short, he has recently undergone brain surgery, just before being diagnosed with frontal-lobe epilepsy and panic disorder. During the surgery, they discovered antibodies on his brain - he was then also diagnosed with Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). Encephalitis is not common at all, and is often misdiagnosed.
Besides the physiological effects of Encephalitis, there are many psychiatric effects, therefore he suffers from short-term memory loss in recent months, and has deteriorated rapidly in the short span of just over a year. He mostly relies on secondary information to remember where he is, how he got there, and who certain people are. This alone has set off his crippling anxiety, depression, and grand-mal seizures, despite the excessive amount of medication he is on. Owing to all of the above, he is no longer fit to work and he cannot drive for two years (because of the epilepsy), and on top of all of that, my father cannot live alone. My father has gone to several doctors since his diagnosis 1.5 years ago, and is swallowing 22 pills per day, yet he is still depressed and severely anxious. We would like to consider a long-term, alternative treatment, such as intensive therapy and PTSD counselling, alongside several other treatments, which can help the Encephalitis. We believe that a much more holistic approach be taken, one that medical aid, unfortunately does not cover.
For our dad, being a man, the topic of mental health is sort of brushed under the carpet, as there is still a stigma. But, as his daughter, I can relate to the mental agony of living with a mental health issue, I just cannot imagine it being as severe as his is currently. My fear is that my father will lose his will to live, or perish even more so, if he continues to experience more grand mal seizures, dissociation and confusion. I could not imagine not being supported, and just being given hundreds of pills, and hoping for the best.
Our wish for our dad is to provide him with the mental health care that he needs, so that he can recover fully, as he cannot cover the costs, now that he has not been working, and will probably still not work for another year or so. Any donations towards his encephalitis and mental-healthcare, no matter how big or small are greatly appreciated.
As his three kids being 29, 25, and 12, we are not fully equipped mentally, professionally or financially to support his road to recovery on our own. I always knew I would look after my parents in their old age, but I was certainly not expecting this at such a young age.
Thank you in advance for your kindness.