If you have a loved one who is dealing with mental illness. It can be difficult to know what to do to help them. Mental illnesses are often misunderstood. And people who are dealing with them can feel isolated and alone. It is important to be there for your loved ones. Offer them support however you can.
However, it is difficult to help someone who is dealing with mental illness. It became more if you do not understand the illness. Mental illnesses are often invisible. This means that people who are dealing with them may not look like they are sick. In this blog post, we will discuss 12 ways that you can help your loved one.
Dealing With Mental Illness
Mental illness is a disorder. It not only affects the person who is suffering. But also the loved ones of that person. The difficulty lies in dealing with mental illness. It seems a challenge to cope with. But it is not impossible.
Here are 12 ways to help your loved one who is dealing with mental illness:
Educate Yourself About illness
To help someone with a disorder. It is the primary required thing to understand the illness. It would be best if you educate yourself about mental illness. So that you can play an active role in the treatment and recovery process.
Ways to Educate yourself:
- Start by reading books, articles, or blogs about mental health.
- Look for reliable sources of information.
- Talk to a mental health professional.
- Attend a support group for caregivers.
When you understand the illness. It will be easier to accept and deal with it. And, eventually will lead you to help your loved ones. It also helps in communicating better with those who are dealing with mental illness.
Seek For Better Resources
Be aware of the better and best resources. There are many agencies, organizations, and groups that can offer helpful services. Do not be afraid to ask around or do your research. The internet is a great place to start.
Before helping someone you love. Do your research to a great extent. Reach out to better resources that can help to guide you through this process.
However, the resources are many. It is up to you what organisation or resource works for you. There are numerous varieties of resources that are; online, offline, private, government, etc.
Do Not Over Expect
Having realistic thoughts and expectations about your loved one’s progress is important. Do not put too much pressure on them to get better right away. As this can actually backfire and cause more stress. Remember that it will take time. Be patient and let time do its thing.
Tips To Handle Over Expectations:
- Take a step back
- Remind yourself that progress takes time
- Talk to your loved one about how you’re feeling
- Look at the situation from their perspective
- Find ways to support them
- Don’t put pressure on them.
Work Together In Dealing With Mental Illness
Togetherness is one of the key aspects of life. This especially goes for families who have a loved one with mental illness. Families need to be there for their ill family members. And they also need to work together. In order to make sure that the person is getting the help. And, dealing with mental illness quite well.
Sometimes it can be difficult for families to get along. When someone is dealing with mental illness. But it is very important that they try. To be supportive and understanding with each other.
Be aware of the treatment plan. Continue to offer support. Be patient with each other and the loved one who is dealing with mental illness.
Let Your Loved One Handle Things
Taking complete control over things is not right. Though your loved one is suffering. Still, they need to feel that they are capable of doing things. So, let them do things their way. At least, let them control their own things. And you only step in when needed or asked by them.
Sometimes doing so can have positive impacts. They may feel the revival of confidence within. No doubt, doing things together can also be a great way. But, could down the morale of the individual. So, relaxed and in some things let your loved one handle things.
And lastly, don’t forget to take care of yourself. This is very important! Because if you are not well, then you won’t be able to take care of your loved one.
- Giving complete control is not the answer. But allowing your loved one to take some initiative will help boost their confidence.
- Step in when necessary. But try to give your loved one as much space as possible to handle things their own way.
Encouragement is necessary. A lot of mental illness is about feeling hopeless and helpless. When you encourage your loved ones. It helps remind them that they are not alone in this battle.
It can be as simple as saying, “I’m here for you,” or “You’re doing a great job.” Sometimes just hearing those words can make all the difference.
Other Ways to Encourage the person dealing with mental illness:
- Be there for them.
- Give them words of encouragement.
- Show them that you care.
- Let them know they are not alone.
- Offer to help out with anything you can.
- Be a listening ear.
- Provide emotional support
Encouragement goes a long way in the healing process. It doesn’t have to be complicated or over-the-top. Sometimes the simplest things can have the biggest impact. So don’t underestimate the power of encouragement—it could be exactly what your loved one needs to hear.
Set Limits Appropriately
It may sound irrelevant when talking about loved ones. But, it is very important to set limits with mentally ill individuals. This is something that needs to be done in a constructive way. Which will help them understand what they can and cannot do. And it also shows that you care about them by setting these boundaries.
Mentally ill individuals need structure and stability in their lives. They often feel out of control. When it comes to their thoughts and emotions. So, by setting limits appropriately. You are helping to provide much-needed stability for them.
It is very important not to overdo it though. You don’t want to become the tyrant. Who is constantly breathing down their neck! Just find a healthy balance where they know what is expected of them while still feeling loved.
Set The Basics With Equality
When you are setting limits and other things. Never let them feel different or alone. Establish the feeling of equality. When it comes to rules, consequences, and expectations. It is very important that your loved one feels as if they are on equal footing with you. This will help to avoid any feelings of isolation or difference. Because that feeling can only worsen an individual’s mental state.
Furthermore, establishing equality can make you more comfortable with yourself. Otherwise, they might not share their feelings with you. And, it can be difficult to deal with.
Help Your Loved One Recognizing Their Abilities
While dealing with mental illness, the person forgets their individuality. So, it is important to make them recognize it. Make them realize their abilities and what they are good at. This will help in boosting their confidence and in dealing with mental illness.
One way you can do this is by brainstorming together. Make a list of things your loved one is good at. No matter how small they may seem. Once you have the list, talk about each item and why it matters. This exercise can not only help your loved ones see their own goodness. But it can also be a bonding experience for the two of you.
Another way is to encourage them to try new things. If they’re feeling down about themselves. Sometimes all it takes is trying something new to give them a boost.
Be Calm And Do Help
This seems to be a difficult thing. Because, at a certain point, you will be feeling frustrated, helpless, and hopeless. You need to remember that you are not alone in this. And try to be calm as much as possible.
There are situations where the person refuses to seek help. In that case, you can’t force them. The best thing you can do is to be there for them. Be calm and relaxed. Give them time to analyze things. But, do not forget to offer your help whenever they need it.
Also, the best part is. Seeing you calm and helpful, your loved one will feel more relaxed and might accept your help. They can too process things and get influenced. Because we cannot teach things by only explanation. If we want some other person to follow it. We, too, have to follow those things in our routine.
Convey Hope And Positivity
Remaining positive and hopeful is important. As dealing with mental illness is a long process. It can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel when dealing with mental illness. But always remember that recovery is possible.
Convey your hope and positivity to your loved ones. And encourage them to seek treatment. So they can get on the path to recovery.
Take Care Of Yourself Too
You also need to take care of yourself. This is not an easy journey and it will take a toll on you mentally and physically. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat healthily, and exercise regularly.
Helping your loved ones is important. But, take care of yourself too. Because when you feel healthy and confident. You can convey the same and can be available for help.
To conclude, these 12 tips are a great starting point. When it comes to helping your loved one manage their mental illness. However, it’s important to remember that everyone is different. And what works for one person might not work for another. Be patient and keep trying until you find something that helps.
If you are feeling overwhelmed or don’t know where to start. Please reach out for professional help. There are many resources available both online and in-person. There is no shame in seeking assistance. Mental illness can be extremely challenging to deal with. But with the right support system in place, your loved one can get the help they need. Start on the road to recovery.
A Word From Therapy Mantra
Your mental health — Your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At TherapyMantra, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, workplace Issues, addiction, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.