In today’s fast-paced life, there is an increasing weight attached to maintaining one’s mental health. More and more studies are adding a new dimension to the well-being of an individual by stressing the importance of both mental and physical well-being. There are almost 9 million adults aged 18 or older in the US who have had a serious mental illness. Mental conditions can destabilize one’s life by meddling with daily functioning and obstructing normal relationships, forcing one to take to medications and mental health therapy to overcome the problems.
Looking at the psychological complexity and the stigma surrounding mental disorders, just a will to help someone with this problem is not enough. Mental illnesses are an amalgamation of numerous factors that have crystallized in an individual over a long period of time. Regardless of what these factors are, here are a few tips to remember while helping an individual with a mental illness:
Being there for them
Mental illnesses are not contagious like cold and flu. The onset or diagnosis of a mental illness can make patients feel isolated and broken, yet they are still the same human beings they once were. They also feel the need to interact with their circles of friends and family. Factors and people who make them feel alienated can deteriorate their condition further.
A peaceful environment is important
When diagnosed with a mental disorder, people can feel a sense of loss and uncertainty about themselves. They need time to think and adjust to their new situation and get in tune with themselves again. It is advisable that they avoid environments with a huge crowd or a lot of noise.
Need to listen to them
One should not advise them on how they should go about their lives as this may make them feel isolated and can give them a feeling that no one can comprehend their situation. Thus, it is better to listen to them. They might repeat the same things over and over again. During a mental illness, patients are often fixated on a particular thought loop. They need to feel comfortable and talk about themselves to feel better.
Sometimes, it takes a tremendous effort for individuals with a mental condition to perform the smallest of tasks. While helping them, one should enable them to engage in activities outside their normal routines. For instance, if their therapist suggests that they should take up painting, one can help them enroll in an art class.
Desisting of banalities and comparisons
For those who are willing to help, one of the common mistakes that they can make is comparing them to other cases to justify their reasoning for why they should recover sooner. Phrases like – what does not kill you will make you stronger – will only irritate and annoy the loved one.
Striving to understand their predicament
There are many reading materials available that one can get hold of to acquire more information about the mental problem that the loved one is suffering from. Learning about the condition can help increase the understanding of various aspects of the illness and of the loved one’s state of mind.
There is scope for recovery. So, if you or a loved one is struggling with any form of mental illness, it is advisable to seek professional help.