Loving Someone with a Mental Illness
Love is a cluster of emotions that causes people to adjust and compromise in order to form a connection. However, the whole situation becomes a little challenging when one person suffers from a mental health issue. People with mental health challenges experience pain, difficulty in expressing emotions, mood swings, and so much more that can be hard to deal with.
If you’re in a similar situation and you’re finding it hard to deal with such a person, then here are some tips to help you.
Learn about the Mental Illness
Often, the whole situation is difficult to adjust to because the other person does not understand their partner’s mental illness. Whether it is depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, or any other issue, you need to learn about it to do your part in helping them.
You cannot support a person until you understand their situation, so consult doctors, read the research, and ask your partner what they feel. All of this will help you understand how mental illness affects your partner and what you can do to make it better for them.
Show Validation and Empathy
Dealing with a mental illness is already difficult in itself, so you have to validate and empathize with your partner. It’s necessary to be vocal about your emotions without blaming them for the situation.
If you’re unable to help them, be direct and tell them that you understand their situation but cannot help them. The best way to deal with it is to validate their emotions and tell them you understand their situation. Make them see that you support them regardless of their behavior and accept your emotional state without asking you to change.
Listen to the Person
Another great way to support your partner is by listening to them. While you may not understand what they’re going through fully, that does not mean that their emotions are unimportant. Sit with them and listen to them without telling them about similar emotions you experienced in the past.
You don’t have to offer any solution. Just listen to them with an open mind. Doing so will make them see that there is at least one person they can rely on.
Encourage Them to Seek Treatment
A person struggling with mental health might not consider treatment due to personal reasons or societal pressure. No matter what the reason is, you must encourage the person to get treatment on time. Make sure that they are going to appointments, taking medicines, or attending group sessions to feel better. It’s necessary to stick with the routine to deal with their mental health.
You can also go to the appointments with them so that they feel motivated and less scared. The first few appointments might be difficult to deal with emotionally, but with someone’s support, anything is possible.
Understand the Symptoms
A person struggling with mental health challenge goes through a series of emotions that might offend or upset the other person. After spending some time together, you will be better able to understand how they react under special circumstances. Make sure to list them all to tackle them effectively.
Find Out How to Help
If you know that your loved one is going through a difficult time that might require professional help, then you should find ways to help them. You can look for treatment options, great doctors, therapists, etc., to offer them support. Don’t lose hope as it’s the only way to encourage the other person as well.
If you’re trying to support another person, then gifting them relevant literature might help. ‘A Notebook of Love’ by Luis Trivino is a motivation manual for people struggling with mental health challenges. The book highlights the author’s struggle and how he emerged victorious.
Luis is a former US Army veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, alcoholism, and separation from his wife. Even after facing so much, Luis did not lose hope and now encourages other people to make positive life choices.
The author’s journey will be of great help to people going through difficult times in their lives. If your loved one is not ready to read the book, you can read it to them.