How to Support a Family Member Who Is Struggling With Mental Illness

Mental illness can be a terrifying thing to witness in someone you love. The person you know and love may act in ways that seem like a stranger, or they may withdraw from the world around them. It’s not always easy to know what to do when this happens, especially as an adult child trying to support a parent. 

Educate Yourself

If you have a family member struggling with this, you may have many questions and concerns yourself. Knowing more about the subject will make it easier for you to support those in your life who are dealing with mental illness. You may learn more in books on the subject, look up mental disorders on websites, and read personal accounts from others who have experienced mental illness. The alternate method is to seek understanding and perspective by conversing with people you know who have dealt with mental illness.

Help Them Find a Good Counselor or Doctor

One of the most important things is to help a person to find a doctor or therapist. Therapy can help a person comprehend their situation and learn coping mechanisms because mental illness is similar to other illnesses. A therapist may assist a person with whatever challenges they may be experiencing, such as relationship issues or dealing with prior trauma. A psychotherapist can also assist a person in identifying coping skills that are effective for them and could be useful in stressful situations. If necessary, doctors can also recommend medications that could keep a person more stable.

Encourage Self-Care and Good Nutrition

It’s important to encourage your loved one to practice self-care, even if they don’t want to. Their mental illness may make it difficult for them to see the situation from your perspective. The best way is to find a treatment plan that works for them. For some people, that means a combination of therapy, medication, and self-care. Others may find that therapy alone works for them. Generally, therapy alone is only offered to children and teenagers. For adults, medication is usually recommended.

Provide Emotional Support

You don’t need to be a therapist or doctor to help. Being there for your loved one and simply listening to them can go a long way. There will be moments when your loved one says or does things that are not what they mean. Being there for them and reassuring them of your concern and desire for them to receive the assistance they require are your duties. It’s crucial that you refrain from attempting to fix the issue for them. Instead, make an effort to pay attention to what they have to say and let them know you are available to help. If they lash out at you, tell them you appreciate them telling you how they feel and that you care.

Don’t Be Afraid to Set Boundaries

An individual with a mental disorder may become absolutely dependent on you. They might rely on you for everything, including cooking and self-care. You cannot put their lives on hold while providing for all of their needs. You must inform them that you are unable to meet all of their needs. At first, they might not like that. To make sure you look after yourself, too, you can establish boundaries.

Mental illness can be a scary thing for everyone involved. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to know everything about it in order to help someone who is struggling with it. The author of this article is a therapist from the Sensera app. Sensera is a daily 10-minute self-therapy app. It’ll help you to cope with various mental problems (anxiety, self-esteem, relationship issues). Feel better with CBT audio sessions and exercises. Download now to become happier!

Related Posts