Having a loved one with a mental illness can be stressful on your part. You may not know it but it can also affect your mental health. But escaping from your responsibilities must be the last thing in your mind.
Although you have been attending to your loved one with mental illness for some time now, do you think you are doing things right? It may not be enough that you are making sure that you are providing the basic needs or reminding about medications prescribed by a doctor. Understanding that your loved one is going through difficult times can be the start of a meaningful journey towards helping your loved one get out of a mental problem. When you care much about a person, this may not be a problem. Sacrificing your time and effort is needed. But don’t let all those efforts and hours go to waste by doing the wrong things.
Here are some proven ways to help a loved one undergoing some mental health problems:
Know More About Mental Health and Common Illnesses
Lack of knowledge about mental health can be the first stumbling health block if you want to help a friend having a mental illness. If your loved one has undergone medical checkup, it may be best to consult the doctor of your loved one. Get all the necessary information and ask about the things that you can do for your family member or friend.
Seek More Information from Other Venues
Not everyone with mental health issues may go to a doctor. In fact, more of those going through depression and anxiety do not consult a doctor because of self-denial. But even then, it is best to consult a professional to understand about mental health more. You may also read educational books about mental health or browse the internet. If some data seem technical, let a medical professional help you.
Gain Back the Trust of Your Loved One
You will never solve a problem if you will not know the main root cause of the issue. Many people with mental health problems may start shying away from their loved ones. They think that they can help themselves or that other people will not be able to help them anyway. They also want their condition to be a secret. This way, you should do things to let your loved one trust you and open up.
Ask the Right Questions
When your loved one starts to speak to you, it may be the right time to ask questions. Make it slow. Do not expect that you can throw all the questions and get all the information you need to know in one sitting. Ask about how and when his condition started, what his plans to overcome his problems and what triggers symptoms, like stress and other things. Knowing your loved one more than anyone else will help you formulate activities that will help disconnect your loved one from his doubts, fears, and worries.
Help Your Loved One Cope with Stress
If you were able to extract the root cause of his condition and the things that stresses your loved one, you may be able to prevent such triggering factors. But you may not be able to prevent them every time. What’s more important in this case is to come up with anti-stress mechanisms to help him cope with stress. Discover activities that can help your loved one not to delve so much on stressful situations. Breathing exercises and relaxation techniques are important to calm down a loved one with depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses.
Find a Support Group for Your Loved One
While you are there as the number one supporter of your loved one with mental problem, you may not be enough. Try finding a support group for your loved one. Having more avenues to voice out their problems is good for all persons with mental health issues. Involving your loved one in social groups doing physical activities like Zumba classes or walking teams can help disconnect your loved one from stressful situations.
Give Words of Encouragement More Often
Telling your loved one that he can overcome his illness is one of the best ways to encourage him to continue fighting. Always remind him that he is strong, that he is important, and that it is only himself that will improve things. Let him attend motivational classes, so he can get back that self-worth that has been diminishing since then.
Never Undermine the Power of Laughter
One of the most important goals that you should work for is to bring back the smile on your loved ones face. Let him participate in some funny and entertaining activities. If you are successful, this means that some of his fears and worries are gone. Always remember the popular adage, “laughter is the best medicine.”
There are more that you can do to your loved one who is undergoing mental health challenges. Get some encouragement from various sources. This is not the time to give up on your loved one. You can do it.