One mother's struggle loving a child with mental illness - - Columbia, South Carolina |

One mother's struggle loving a child with mental illness

Posted: Updated:
Kelly Ann Troyer describes life with son who is mentally ill Kelly Ann Troyer describes life with son who is mentally ill

A South Carolina mother has a signed contract with her 19-year-old son, outlining how he will behave.

"No property damage, no threats to pets," said Kelly Ann Troyer. "Without medicine, he is uncontrollable.  With medicine, I still am always waiting for the other shoe to drop."

Her son has bipolar disorder, pervasive development disorder and autism, and she has custody of him.

And if you want to know what a day in her world is like, take for instance, Wednesday:

"Well, right before I came here, I got the call he threatened to kill a girl on the bus this morning," Troyer said.  "And right now, he's in the room with a resource officer and administrator and they've had to call people and I don't know what that outcome may be."

But this concerned mother paused to talk to WIS so that you would understand. She knows people are thinking about mental illness and she wants to talk about it after what happened Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

"I do identify with that," said Troyer. "I'm not thankful for the situation but I'm grateful it has received so much media attention."

She doesn't know what the gunman Adam Lanza was dealing with, but she does know what its like to have a son with violent tendencies.

"He says, 'I'm about to act out'.  That's his word," she said.  "If he says that, you just need to move out of the way. Bad things are about to happen.  He's gonna' break the iPod, he's gonna' throw the phone, he's gonna' put a hole in the wall." 

Troyer said for children or older kids like hers whose parents have guardianship, the problem is what to do with them.  Homeless shelters and jail are where they often end up.

She regularly calls police to calm her son down. Other than that, she said there's not much to do. 

That's the problem and that's what she thinks of when she thinks of Sandy Hook.

"I got very angry because this is not the first time this happened in our country," said Troyer.  "Won't be the last and if we provide adequate mental health care, treatment facilities, there are many people who can live in recovery."

 She said her wish is that money would flow in and a cure would be found and in the meantime, she'd have some residential options aside from her home.

"I love him," Troyer said.  "I love all three of my children. I would not wish this on anyone.  It is, on a good day, a very bad day."

For more information on helping children with mental illness:

Federation of Families of South Carolina

810 Dutch Square Blvd., Suite 205

Columbia, SC 29210

803-772-5210 In Columbia

866-779-0402 Toll-free


Copyright 2012 WIS.  All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow