Speaking Out ~ Living With HD

Julie's Story

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Julie's Story
Julie Griffith was 17 years old when she wrote the following.

My name is Julie, I am 17 years old. My mother suffers from Huntington's Disease and has done so as long as I can remember. I have set up this page in the hope that young carers or people at risk like myself have a chance to talk  with others who understand and  to help you find out more.


Since I found out that my mother suffers from HD, my life has taken many different turns. When I was about 13 the violence and irrational behaviour escalated and became unbearable. Although at the time I though I was coping, it became apparent later that I was not.
I stopped attending school, became moody and very depressed. I thought life was at an end.

After my father had a heart attack 3 1/2 years ago, my mother was placed on medication which like a miracle. She was no longer violent or depressed. We began to see a nice, loving side to her. Of course, she still has her bad days, but I can love her now, which I found difficult before.

Things are still difficult. I have been in full time employment  for a year, and I am starting to make something for myself. We have a lot of help now, but life isn't always easy.
My mum is deteriorating and can be physically demanding. It upsets me to see her suffer, but she is in good spirits and can make anybody laugh. She is always joking and affectionate to everybody. But life goes on.