How To Get Your Loved One (And Yourself) The Necessary Support
First off, let us remind you that you did not cause your family member’s mental health issue, and it is not your responsibility to fix it. Let that settle over you. You can come alongside your loved one, walking each step of the way with him or her, but you cannot drag that individual to health. Know that the best and most important thing you can do is to be supportive. To help you stand strong in that position, we would like to offers these suggestions.
- Get Educated: It can be overwhelming to try to support your family member through something you do not understand. Do your homework, learning about how the illness manifests itself and what triggers it. Knowing about the disorder will help you better understand what your loved one is going through, and will also help you stay away from the mindset of just wishing he or she would “snap out of it.”
- Get Support: You deserve to have support as you are supporting your family member. Do not be afraid to seek out other people who can help you. Those who are in the same situation as you can be especially good friends, since they will be able to empathize with you. Joining a support group can go a long way towards helping you normalize your experience, giving you more patience and grace with your family member.
- Get Prepared: Stop making things harder for yourself with unrealistic expectations. Take a faithful evaluation of what your life has been like so far with this family member, and use that—rather than a fantasy—to prepare yourself for the road ahead.
You do not have to do it alone when trying to figure out how to be the best support to your family member living with mental illness. To get the experts on your side, contact the Community Presbyterian Counseling Center. Located in San Ramon, California, we truly care about helping your family live their best lives.