Identifying and navigating mental illness in your loved ones
Mental health is a serious issue. Ignoring mental illness does not only cause further harm to the affected person, but also to their loved ones. It may even lead to extreme consequences like suicide attempts. It can be very difficult to see a close person suffering with a mental illness. Hence, it is imperative to identify and navigate mental illness in your loved ones. We will explore how to do that.
Identifying Mental Illness:
It is important that you recognize and accept that your loved one is showing signs of some mental illness. It is often a hard fact to accept but without it, you wouldn’t help them treat it and it might get worse over time. There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. While the signs and symptoms for different mental illnesses vary, you should know the basic common signs indicating some mental illness. They are:
Extreme mood changes
Excessive fears, worries and anxiousness
Difficulty functioning at work or school
Growing inability to cope with daily problems and activities
Hallucinations (seeing/hearing things that aren’t there)
Problems with memory and thinking
Prolonged feeling of sadness or irritability
Changes in sleeping, eating and hygiene habits
Feeling disconnected from reality, or from oneself
Alcohol or drug abuse
Unusual, peculiar behavior
Thoughts of suicide
If you identify any of these symptoms in your loved ones, you have to know about it yourself. Read about the symptoms, the pertaining disorder, possible treatments and what to expect. Educate yourself as much as possible and proceed accordingly.
Navigating through the mental illness:
Most of the times, the person with a mental illness would not accept that they are ill. So starting the conversation with them is something you should be careful of. If your loved one doesn’t agree that they have an illness, hear them out; find out why. Listening is very important. Keep an open mind to anything that they have to say. Express your concern without using alarmist language. Reassure them that you care for them and you’re there for them. Have patience and do not be judgmental of anything they say or feel. Above all, stay calm.
This is the more important part. The next step is to ask them to consult a mental healthcare expert. It is of utmost importance that they get themselves checked and find out what the issue is, if any. If they are reluctant to see a mental healthcare specialist, suggest them to visit their general physician. If needed, the physician would prescribe a visit to a mental healthcare provider. That would make them agree for the same. Then, the specialist would take it further. Diagnosed of some illness or not, they would suggest the best possible options to cope with the problem.
It is not easy identifying and navigating mental illness in your loved ones. If any of your loved ones is dealing with a possible mental health illness, don’t hesitate to bring them over to Fort Lauderdale Behavioral Wellness for diagnosis. We are happy to help you in every way possible.