Mental illness is a reality of life for millions of people all over the world. There are varying degrees and levels of functionality, and the best outcomes are for people who have amazing support behind them and all around them.

When your child is diagnosed with something like schizophrenia, it can turn your life upside down. Knowledge is power when it comes to coping, and that’s one reason these 10 parents who have been there (and are there) are keeping it real.

10. I don’t think it’s wrong to wish that.

We all want easy roads for our kids to travel.

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9. The world is rough for everyone.

But it’s definitely harder for some than others.

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8. Hopefully his support system will grow.

This must be a particular kind of fear.

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7. Quirks are cute and charming.

Until they’re not.

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6. That’s one heavy burden.

But love is worth it.

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5. If only we could trade places.

That kind of thing should really be allowed, when it comes to parents and kids.

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4. It’s not a hand anyone wants to be dealt.

It requires immense strength.

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3. I cannot even imagine.

The heartbreak must be immense.

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2. That’s what parents do.

Even when it’s really, really hard.

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1. The things you wish you’d known.

Maybe it will be ok.

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I honestly can’t even imagine – stay strong, moms and dads.

Has your child struggled with serious mental illness? Share your stories with us in the comments.