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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) -Mental Illness is difficult on sufferers and the people who love them.One women describes the turbulent home she grew up in.

“There was a feeling of feeling less than, feeling a little ashamed, actually a lot of ashamed.,” said Melissa Parsons.

Melissa Parsons and her siblings lived with an alcoholic father and a mother dealing with mental health issues. She says the best thing she could do was talk about what was going on with her mom.

“An episode means that mom is entering into a manic phase of her life, she is on top of the world, she can do anything. It means usual happenings in the house, furniture being thrown, writing on the walls. Just odd behavior,” said Melissa.

Melissa worried that she would suffer from the same illness when she grew up.

“We would have family council meetings to figure out what are we going to do next when mom goes through an episode. It took me a good, well into my late 20’s that I finally realized that I’m OK,” added Melissa.

Diagnosing mental illness is difficult. Counselors monitor behavior, research family history and mood swings. Professionals say seeking help could speed up the recovery process.

“A lot of people that I see they don’t have that family support but find somebody. Somebody you can talk to, whether it be a professional, whether it be a family doctor, whether is be a counselor, psychiatrist but seek guidance,” said License Professional Counselor Amanda Coleman.

Melissa says it was tough and there were times in her life where she just needed her mom.

“I told my husband just the other night, I miss my mom. I’ missed out, I missed out on prom and the shopping together and I certainly have accepted it. You just move on, it is what it is type of a thing but I don’t think that will ever go away,” said Melissa.

Melissa’s mother resides in an institution in California where she will be treated for mental illness the rest of her life.

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