When your loved one suffers from a mental illness, no one is up for blame because psychiatric disorders are caused by a variety of factors ranging from biology and genetics to environmental conditions and life experiences. All that you need is to compose yourself, accept the diagnosis and find support without paying attention to blame, criticism, and judgment. This may not guarantee their recovery, but it at least impacts positively in their well-being. Not accepting the situation will only worsen it.
So, if you have a family member or even a friend who is suffering from a mental disorder, the following tips will be of great help to both you and your patient. So, take your time to read and practice them.
Supporting a mentally unstable person
Learn about the illness
Take your time to learn and educate yourself on the clinical explanations, not the myths surrounding the condition your loved one is facing. You can also get information from persons who have previously experienced the same problem. The knowledge will help you understand the illness as well as appreciate the diagnosis process which will eventually lead to wellness.
Initiate dialogues instead of debates
It’s always hard for one to accept the fact that they have a mental problem. As such, you need to start an extensive dialogue with your patient which could help in finding the source of the illness. Instead of trying to change your patient’s mind, listen to him/her carefully and avoid as much as you can, the power of struggle and then focus on building rapport and trust.
Look for support
Instead of wasting time guessing what could help, inquire. Psychiatrists recommend seeking support from support groups as they provide an excellent forum to exchange ideas, learn more and connect with persons who have more insight on what you experience. In case the condition is an acute psychiatric distress, seek medical attention without hesitation.
Go for counseling yourself
Dealing with a chronic mental illness within a family is not an easy task. It comes with a lot of stress and conflicting emotional feelings. It’s therefore, wise to seek guidance and counseling from a qualified therapist to not only discover new solutions but also, to get clarity and objectivity to safely handle your rising emotional feelings. Mind you, the healthier you are, the better you will handle your loved one’s situation.
Develop strategies to cope with your patient’s condition
At times, your patients may show weird behaviors that are embarrassing, confusing and scaring, whether in public or private. With the help of your loved one’s care team, you can come up with strategies to cope up with such situations. For example, you can learn to understand that this isn’t personal and that it’s beyond the patient’s control.