Supporting a family member with mental illness can be extremely difficult and you may experience a range of emotions including fear, frustration, and confusion. Unfortunately, many people experience mental health issues at some point in their life. If you have a family member suffering from mental illness, then you must know how to help them through difficult times.
With this in mind, here are some useful tips on how to support a family member with mental illness.
Educate yourself on mental illness
It can be difficult for people to understand mental illness when they have not experienced the symptoms themselves. You should keep in mind that mental illness is a disease just like a physical illness. It comes in many different shapes and forms and affects a person's moods, behaviors, and emotions. Unfortunately, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding mental illness.
However, there are plenty of resources available that can broaden your knowledge and teach you the key facts on mental health.
For instance, according to experts at Magellan Health, 1 in 10 Americans suffers from a mental health issue every year, and 1 in 25 suffers from a serious mental health condition like schizophrenia or major depression. Educating yourself on mental illness will help you to empathize with your loved one's situation and become better equipped to support them.
Encourage them to seek professional help
If you are concerned that a family member is showing signs of mental illness, then you should encourage them to seek support from a mental health professional. Some common signs of mental illness include social withdrawal, difficulty functioning at school or work, and severe mood swings. Your loved one may be reluctant to seek help, but you should never become angry or frustrated with them.
You can encourage your loved one to seek support by accompanying them on appointments or offering to book them an appointment with a trusted health care provider. There are also many specialist clinics available where your loved one can receive the help they need in a trusting, welcoming environment. For example, Ignite Teen Treatment provides specialist support for teenagers suffering from mental illness such as body image disorders, anxiety, and depression.
Join a support group
Watching a family member go through mental illness can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. While caring for your loved one, you must take care of your own physical and mental well-being. Joining a support group can be an excellent way to gain advice from other carers and connect with people going through similar situations. Groups like NAMI allow people to share their experiences in a confidential environment and provide valuable support to families of people with mental illness.
Caring for a family member with mental illness is never easy. If you have a family member with mental health issues, then you should remember that you’re not alone. Mental illnesses are extremely common and many people suffer from them at some point in their lives. Use the above tips to support your loved one through mental illness and help them on their road to recovery.
You may also like