Know Someone With Mental Illness? Here’s How You Can Help

It’s not hard to find someone who knows or has a loved one who suffers from mental illness. The thing is that while the physical pain of a broken leg can be readily seen and understood by everyone, mental illness is still something that many people struggle to understand. It’s time for us all to have a better understanding of this misunderstood condition. Let’s break down what mental illness is, the different types of it, and how you can make life easier for someone suffering from mental struggles.

Consult Them On Treatment

It’s good to get the opinions of someone who actually suffers from mental illness on what they think is best for treatment. For example, many people go to the doctor and get put on an antidepressant because their symptoms fit the criteria in the DSM-5. That doesn’t mean it will work for you/them. The sooner you consult them to try therapy, the better they’ll handle their mental illness. This consultation doesn’t always have to be about their treatment plan. It could also be to help them out with how they feel, or what they’re going through in life right now. Sometimes it can be very hard for someone with mental illness to ask for help, but if you offer your support and guidance then that might just give the person the little push they need.

Check Up On Them

It’s a good idea to check in with a loved one who is suffering from mental illness. This doesn’t need to be a formal meeting or phone call every week, but you should make sure that they’re going through what they say they are. For example, if someone says their manic episode was controlled by the new medication they were put on, then it might not hurt to give them some medicine and tell them you hope everything goes well for them. Or after an emotionally rough day at work, people may stay home and not want to see anyone or leave the house. That could easily worry the people around them, but it would be wrong for those people to assume that their loved one isn’t doing anything of importance when they’re alone. People who suffer from mental illness do not appreciate feeling like they need to justify what they’re doing with their time. The more we can understand the disease and how it affects people, the better off we’ll all be.

Don’t Blame Them For Their Mental Illness

You should never blame someone for having a mental illness. If you’ve ever had an issue with anyone who has had some kind of mental condition then you know that there is nothing wrong with them as a person. That’s why people think of those who have some sort of mental illness as not at fault for their actions because they cannot help it sometimes, and it is still up for debate if these conditions are actual illnesses or just personality traits. It might not seem like it, but this is actually a great thing. It means that while you might not be able to change your children if they’re having some sort of mental breakdown, at least you know there’s nothing wrong with them intrinsically. They are not monsters because of their mental ailment.

Encourage Them To Take Care Of Themselves

People who have someone in their lives who suffer from mental illness need to make sure they are taking care of themselves too. Taking up hobbies and having things on their schedule for after the person gets better are good ideas to make sure everyone survives what could be a tough time. Sometimes people can get lost in “the cause” and neglect themselves when they should be taking care of themselves so they will have energy for when the going gets tough. As this is an important thing for anyone to hear, it should be said to people who are suffering from mental illness as well. It would be wrong not to take care of yourself when you know that there’s something hard coming up ahead.

You should not let a person’s mental illness define them any more than you would let an illness of the body define someone. Mental illness doesn’t have to be a terrible thing if we can help it. If you or someone close to you has a mental condition then know that there are things that those who care about you can do to make your life easier. It might seem like tough love, but giving people with mental issues their space sometimes is necessary for them to get better and do the right things for themselves instead of everyone else. And don’t forget about yourself as well, because taking care of everyone else isn’t going to stop your own problems from arising!

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