What to do When Your Loved One is Dealing With a Mental Health Condition
When a person has a mental health condition it’s felt by everyone in their inner circle. Having a loved one that’s suffering from mental illness can be emotionally draining, frustrating and heartbreaking. It can consume your thoughts and strain other relationships.
At our Partial Hospitalization Program in Dallas, TX we often work with family members, spouses and close friends that are impacted by a patient’s mental illness. It’s a vital part of what we do to support our patient’s support system. When your loved one is dealing with a mental health condition, here’s what to do.
Educate Yourself on the Treatment Options
One of the first things most people do when they realize a loved one has a mental health condition is try to better understand what’s happening and what can be done about it. The encouraging news is today more treatment options exist than ever before. But every case is unique, and what works for one illness may be totally ineffective for another.
Depression rehab in Dallas is going to be different than joining a PHP behavioral health program for addiction. Something else to consider is that many mental health disorders are co-occurring, which means the disorders are present at the same time.
Some common treatment options include:
- Individual talk therapy
- Group therapy
- Prescription medication
- In-patient rehabilitation
- Partial hospitalization program
- Intensive Outpatient Program
Depending on the age of the patient and their condition, the next of kin may be making the treatment decisions.
Encourage Your Loved One
It’s easy to look at the destructive behavior and pass judgment, but that will only make matters worse. The healthier option is to encourage your loved one and show them support. Offer to do family therapy so that you can both benefit and support one another more. Try your best to remain positive and proactive in helping your loved one as you take it one step at a time.
Refrain From the Blame Game
Too often loved ones will question their own role in the development of the disorder. They’ll end up blaming themselves or something they’ve done in the past for creating the mental health condition. Or the person with the mental health condition may be given the blame.
There are never any winners when you play the blame game. Often there is no clear reason why a person has a mental health condition. What’s most important is identifying the illness and getting appropriate treatment.
Prepare for a Long Process
Treating mental health conditions is often a long, ongoing process. It can take months just to identify the root causes of the mental illness and many more months addressing them. In most cases, mental health conditions must be carefully managed and behaviors have to be changed over the long-term.
The long process can be very frustrating for everyone involved. We all wish treating mental health conditions was as easy as taking a medication. Truly treating mental illness and not just the symptoms is going to require patience. Going into the process mentally prepared for the long road ahead helps.
Take Care of Your Own Mental Wellbeing
It’s important to make your own mental health a priority. The stress of having a loved one with a mental health condition can take a toll on anyone. Support groups are a fantastic way to get a grasp on your situation and connect with others that understand what you’re going through. You can find support groups in your local area as well as online using resources like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Family-based therapy is another excellent option. These programs focus on education and talk therapy that involves the individual with a mental health condition and one or more of their family members.
But seeing a therapist or joining a support group isn’t the only way to look after your own wellbeing. Relaxation is another way to manage the stress. You can practice yoga, take tai chi classes, create art or get a massage to address your mental and emotional needs. The goal is to find a healthy activity that relaxes your mind and body.
Not sure what treatment options will be effective at treating your loved one’s mental illness? Your loved one can schedule a no obligation consultation with Lighthouse Recovery to determine if in-patient, IOP or a Partial Hospitalization Program in Dallas is the best treatment option.