Movie dating therapist son
She is engaged in an epic battle on multiple fronts. Think how painful it is to hear him say nearly every day that he wants to kill himself. That's one in every four adults, one in five children. " He screams for his mother: "They're making me have these bad thoughts." Stephanie Escamilla is videotaping her son Daniel. Daniel is 14 now, and his mother no longer needs to convince doctors that he is mentally ill. In the past four years, he has been hospitalized more than 20 times. Raising a child with mental illness is "a roller-coaster ride through hell," Stephanie says. Imagine what it's like for a mother to watch her son suffer – the little boy who sang and danced to Michael Jackson tunes, who tossed the baseball out back, who she dreamed would become a doctor. The 75 million American families touched by mental illness, like Stephanie Escamilla's, largely deal with it in private. I later learned the scope of the problem: More than 60 million adults and about 15 million children in America suffer some form of mental disorder.She took an overnight job at a hospital so she could be around during the day for her son.She works in a tuberculosis ward and once was a 911 dispatcher.
In the months that followed, I witnessed her resolve to change the path of a 14-year-old boy oscillating between the trials of adolescence and the anguish of mental illness. Also living with the family is Stephanie's mother, who has brain cancer.Those experiences gave her another view of the mentally ill – from medical and law enforcement perspectives.She realized she could help her son by educating others. Once, Daniel was beaten by an acquaintance while a friend shot video that was later posted on You Tube."I just don't want anybody else to go through that." If it's true that one person who loves you can change your outlook, that force in Daniel's life is his mother. She believes he can accomplish whatever he sets out to do. "You would never know that he was going to have a mental illness," she tells the crowd. " Seventeen cadets being trained to work in the Bexar County jail system sit in the audience and shake their heads.Yet she worries for his future: Will people accept him? Several blurt out: "No." "He was a baby," she says. He was always happy." On the day Daniel was born -- January 29, 1999 -- Stephanie eyed his tiny frame, all 5 pounds and 15 ounces, and marveled at how delicate he was. She dreamed he would become a doctor, or join the military to explore the world. Raising a child alone, she knew, would not be easy.