Mental Health: 7 tips to cope with a loved one that is suffering

Mental Health: 7 tips to cope with a loved one that is suffering

If there is a mental health case in your family, you may be interested in this: it is as important to care for the patient as it is to care for the caregiver. Here are some tips to help you or your family not get overburdened with caring for someone with mental illness

The family's shock at learning of their loved one's mental illness often brings about profound changes in the way the home functions.

Those closest to you offer help, care and support. But over time, if the situation has not been handled with the right balance, fatigue and routine will set in, and with them arguments and blaming.

These are some suggestions to avoid the atmosphere becoming increasingly tense:

1. Don't overprotect the sick.

As far as possible, make them responsible for their activities. If you are constantly protecting them you just increase their dependence on you.

Do not overprotect the patient

2. Quality over quantity.

Try to look at yourself with perspective and control your stress levels. If you feel it is necessary, seek help if you suffer from insomnia, frustration, irritability, melancholy and pessimism.

3. Give priority to your family and social relationships and your personal life.

Don't give up what is good for you.

Prioritise social connection

4. When required, have a difficult conversation to prevent them from hurting themselves or others.

Sometimes it is necessary for your relative to be temporarily or permanently hospitalized.

5. No stigma. 

Many times we tend to stigmatize mental illness, blaming the patient for his or her behavior and hiding him or her from his or her social group.

6. Be compassionate 

Let the, know that you care about what is happening. Help them express what they feel. Listen without focusing on quick and easy solutions. Just listen.

7. No arguments, only conversations

There is no right or wrong. There's very little value in confrontingsomeone who is suffering from a mental illness. Focus on conversations that will help them release what the experience or just explain what they are going through

Finally, seek professional support. Just like cancer or heart disease, mental illness has no culprit, should not cause embarrassment, and cannot be treated by family members alone.

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