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Published On: November 7, 2017|Categories: Mental Health, Treatment|

The concept of mental illness is complex, with each mental health disorder impacting the brain in a unique way. Mental illnesses, therefore, can be difficult to understand from a purely educational level – but when your loved one is impacted with a mental health disorder and complicated emotions come into play as a result, you may find yourself even more frustrated with the topic.

While we don’t wish to see any of our loved ones struggle with anything, least of all a mental health disorder, if this is your reality, it’s important to remember there are so many ways you can help. Not only will your support help your loved one during this challenging time, it will keep you from feeling powerless.

Tips for mental illness support

You know your loved one the most and will therefore be aware of some of the more personal ways they can be best supported. However, we want to provide you with some more general suggestions in case you need a springboard from which to take action.

Believe that help is possible

While it may feel at times that nothing is improving, or that your loved one is going to be miserable forever, try your best to fight against thoughts of hopelessness. Remember that there are so many proven methods of mental illness treatment, including therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes, and it may just take some time to find the method which best benefits your loved one.

Our loved ones who battle mental illness experience feelings of despair and hopelessness enough – it is our job, then, to support them with encouragement on the days when they seem especially discouraged or unmotivated to continue their journey.

Learn all you can

The more you know about something, the less scary it becomes. The same goes for mental illnesses – the more you take the time to learn about what complicated emotions and thoughts your loved one is experiencing, the less you will be frightened by it. You will be better equipped to help them manage their symptoms, and be able to clearly see when your loved one is making huge leaps in improvement.

There are numerous sources where you can seek information about mental illnesses, their causes and symptoms, including:

  • Books
  • Websites
  • Support groups
  • Doctors
  • Therapists
  • Other patients
  • Family members of other patients

By taking the time to educate yourself, you’re showing your loved one just how high you prioritize their recovery and well-being.

Be open to honest conversations

When it comes to talking with your loved one, you may feel like conversations during this time are difficult. Either you and your loved one don’t relate the way you used to, or maybe you both have differing views of what needs should be met during this time.

Remember that your loved one needs, now more than ever, a place where they can make their needs known without being made to feel silly, needy or asking for too much. While you may have an idea of what kind of help you’d like to offer your loved one, the help they truly need at that moment may actually look vastly different.

This is where open conversations are crucial. Allow your loved one to express their needs, their feelings and their thoughts without projecting your own. Dialogue with them about what you wanted to offer them, and give them the chance to offer alternatives if that would benefit them better. Don’t take it personally – embrace them as suggestions that, when implemented, will significantly support your loved one.

Try therapy for yourself

Therapists are great for helping people transitioning through any kind of big life event, including discovering that a loved one has a mental illness. Speaking with a therapist is a good way to work out your feelings in a supportive and affirming environment. You may discover some important things about yourself along the way, including how to balance and cope with any negative emotions you may be experiencing during this time.

Be open to hospitalization, if needed

Inpatient mental health treatment is sometimes the best solution for an individual, especially those experiencing acute psychiatric symptoms. Doctors and nurses are trained to handle these situations; it can be dangerous to try and care at home for someone in profound mental distress. If you feel the best solution for your loved one’s safety and well-being is inpatient treatment, seek out options in your area to get them the help they need.

Get help for someone with a mental illness

You may wish to show support to your loved one by helping them research treatment centers or counseling programs for mental illness recovery. High Focus Centers offers both outpatient and inpatient treatment for individuals struggling with a mental health disorder, in addition to services for the individual’s family.

To get in touch with someone about treatment opportunities, contact us by calling 800-877-3628 to learn more.

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