One of the major invisible illnesses many people still have difficulty talking about has to do with mental health. Know that mental illness is real and there are a lot of individuals out there suffering from it daily.
As a friend or family member, there’s a lot you can do to help someone who you know that’s dealing with one of these many different conditions that affect the brain and everyday functioning. Know that it’s not an easy role to take on and there may be bumps in the road you’ll need to endure. However, hang in there and keep trying even when it becomes difficult to deal with because they truly do need you.
Listen & Support Them
What you don’t want to do is judge and assume in a situation like this one. Listen attentively, show support, and give any insight where you feel it makes sense, but don’t try to tell the other person how they’re feeling or what’s right and wrong. It may be all they need right now is someone to lean on, and you can be that person for them if you’re open and willing. Hear them out and try to better understand what they’re going through and how they believe you can help them.
Talking is healthy and necessary, but keep in mind that you can also assist this person who has a mental illness by taking action. Make a difference in their life by going for walks with them, buying them a journal or calling MedTech Cleaners if your situation requires someone to help with hoarding cleanup. There are resources and people out there waiting to lend a helping hand, and all you have to do is make the first move.
You’re going to add a lot more value to someone’s life who suffers from mental illness if you understand their condition. Find out their diagnosis and then be proactive and conduct your own research so you have a better idea of what they’re going through and are dealing with on a daily basis. They’ll truly appreciate your efforts when they notice they can better relate to you when you start talking about their environmental illness.
Take Care of Your Wellbeing
Don’t forget that your friend or family member’s struggles are affecting you too. Be sure you take care of yourself and aren’t constantly attending to the other person without first attending to your own needs. It’ll be tempting to want to take on their pain and be in constant contact, but you have to know when and how to distance yourself so your health doesn’t start to go downhill. Set aside time to exercise, cook at home and participate in hobbies you love, while at the same time supporting your loved one.
Mental illness is unfortunate, but it’s a reality many people have to live and deal with daily. You may not know what you’re doing at first, but you being available to listen is good enough initially. Use these tips to help you better understand what to do in this situation as you learn more about their condition and are looking to offer additional support.