It is not easy to know that someone you love or a close family member is mentally ill. This is the harsh reality of no small amount of people. It is believed that around three hundred million people in the world have to live with some form of mental illness. Developing an understanding of how to react and what to say to someone who is mentally ill is no walk in the park. This is all the truer when considering that a number of mental illnesses are not easy to diagnose or identify.
Those who suffer from mental illness may not be too inclined to be checked out, due to the stigma associated with mental health issues. Being the person that they can turn to and share their feelings with is a necessary step.
Knowing that someone you love or live with has a mental health problem increases stress. In this respect, it is important to avoid direct conflict as it can make matters worse. Those who suffer from a mental health issue will need a shoulder for compassion and not unnecessary arguments. Establishing strong trust is the first step in helping the afflicted person to seek help.
You will also need to avoid downplaying the problem. Making statements implying that the afflicted is exaggerating and does not seem mentally ill can do a world of damage. Just remember that a mental crisis can hit anyone, one negative circumstance or episode can be all it takes. In this regard, people living with mentally ill individuals need to practice empathy.
Encouraging the mentally afflicted to seek support may be essential for their recovery. The earlier the problem is identified, the better it is to find a long-term solution. It is important to keep in mind that counsellors and psychologists are more equipped to help out with issues of mental health.
When caring for someone who is vulnerable, it may be tempting to place them as your first priority, sometimes at the expense of your own well-being. Be careful with that. If you are in a position where your own self is dampened, you are less likely to make a positive impact.
Mental health issues are nothing to be shameful of but require immediate action. If a loved one is in a dire mental health situation, provide the necessary framework to tackle the issue head on. In such cases, professional support may be the only solution.