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Things To Do When Someone Close To You Is Suffering From Mental Health Issues

By: Sripriya Satish

Mental health is a very important criterion in determining the happiness of an individual. The mental instability of a person can go a long way in affecting his mood, thoughts and behaviour.

Diseases like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and major depressive disorder, all fall under the category of mental illnesses.

Individuals who are the victims of mental health issues can, of course, lead happy, rewarding and fulfilling lives if they have the proper support to lead them through those difficult times.

This article deals with what one should do when someone near and dear to him is suffering from mental health issues.

how to handle mental illness in close family

Recognizing The Symptoms Of A Mentally Ill Patient

First of all, the family members and friends who mean a lot to the mentally affected person should know the symptoms related to his or her mental illness. Some of the common symptoms are as listed below:

  • Inability to participate in social get togethers
  • Lack of interest in their respective work atmospheres
  • Always staying in an imaginary world, cutting the threads of reality
  • Memory problems
  • Daily activities get disturbed
  • Lack of proper hygiene
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Extreme mood swings
how to handle mental illness in close family

Staying Calm And Composed

Now that you have come to know about some of these symptoms in your loved ones, the next and the most important step is for you to stay calm and composed.

Showing negative emotions in front of the affected individual can aggravate their symptoms. Give a cool thought as to what the next logical step that is to be taken, keeping in mind the benefit of the affected individual.

Diagnosing The Root Cause Of The Problem

Try to be supportive and find out the root cause of the abnormal behaviour of the patient. Some instances might include the death of a loved one, or the affected person might be pushed into a totally new and harsh scenario like losing a job.

how to handle mental illness in close family

Encouraging Them To Seek Medical Help

First, allow the patient to speak his/her heart out to you. Then encourage them gently to seek medical help like meeting a psychiatrist. Being in a confused state of mind the patient might not accept your words.

If this is the case then talk to the victim's health physician stating the changes you have noticed in the patient and seek professional help. If the patient is unmanageable like for instance if he is trying to harm himself or others then do not hesitate to take professional help immediately.

Accepting The Current State Of The Situation As It Is

It would be hard initially to accept the current state of conditions. But being patient with the affected individual is the key to deal with the difficult situation effectively.

Be prepared for a flurry of emotions expressed by the victim as well as the surrounding family members. Anger, grief, disbelief and fear are the common emotions to be dealt with.

how to handle mental illness in close family

Educate Yourself About The Patient's Illness

One of the best ways to deal with the not so pleasant situation is to educate yourself as to what the patient is suffering from.

Acquiring more knowledge about the patient's mental health condition can go a long way in preparing his near and dears ones to deal with the illness effectively. Books and the Internet can be of more help in this process. But be sure to search for information which is accurate.

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Most important of all, love, affection and support from the surrounding family members and friends is what the patient would require to a great extent.

But be sure that the victim's confidence in himself is not at any stage of his life broken!

Read more about: mental, illness
Story first published: Monday, October 9, 2017, 11:00 [IST]
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