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Part Three of Four Parts

By Caroline Clauss-Ehlers

The last two installments of Bienestar have presented the story of Romana Guevara and her son Ramiro Guevara in their quest to get appropriate mental health services. Romana's experience has been that of a mother who consistently tried to get help for her son.

Despite her efforts, Romana remembered blaming herself for her son's problems. "I was 15 when I got pregnant. It was the result of a rape and I did not want to have the baby. I used to bang on my stomach during the pregnancy. I thought I had transmitted these negative feelings to my baby, so when things went wrong with Ramiro I felt it was my fault. There was no one who offered me counseling during that time. Years later when Ramiro was in the juvenile justice system I told the psychiatrist what had happened. She told me I had to tell my son he was a product of rape. She said if I didn't tell Ramiro she would. I went to tell my son and he was so upset because he did not want to lose my love."

Ramiro began to work when he got out of the juvenile justice system. His substance abuse was under control and he had been sober for six years. Still Ramiro felt something was not quite right. It was only when he read an article on bipolar disorder that he felt the description applied to his experience.

This column is educational. It does not substitute for formal medical advice. Do not use this information without talking with a qualified professional.

Send your questions to Bienestar/Hoy, 330 West 34 St., 17th Floor, New York, NY 10001
Call at (212) 462-9464 or write

Copyright 2005, Used with permission from Hoy.

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