How to 'Be There' for a loved one suffering with a Mental Illness

How to 'Be There' for a loved one suffering with a Mental Illness

Hello My Lovelies,

How are we all doing? I must admit for a Monday … I have had a pretty good day and I have managed to get a lot of work done.

So as I said, I wanted to do a Mental Health series on my blog. Im calling it Mental Health Monday #MHM. Im not 100% sure if I will be doing a post every Monday or every other Monday but I will keep you all updated. Normal posts will go up Friday as usual.

Ive been struggling with Mental Health since the age of about 14. So as I’m now 20 thats 6 years and let me tell you it hasn’t been easy.

I was diagnosed with severe anxiety & depression. I have also had a problem with self harming.

Mental Health can be a real struggle when it comes to relationships. Ive had my fair share of issues with them, so I thought I would let you know my ideas for how to be there for someone who is struggling with a metal health illness, whether its a member of your family, your friend or partner.

‘Educate Yourself’ 

My first piece of advise is to educate yourself, sometimes you may not understand your loved ones behaviour. So I think it’s important that you educate yourself on there illness, just take some time to read up on it. This can also show them that you are working extra hard to try and understand. 

‘Stay Calm’ 

I know this can be hard because you don’t want to see your loved one on a path of self destruction. But I have to admit there is nothing that upsets me more, than when someone gets angry & frustrated with me for something I have little to no control over. 

‘Listen’ 

Now that I know I can talk about things, I probably start to sound like a broken record. I normally moan about the same things over and over. Theres nothing wrong with that but I know it must get really annoying. 

‘Encourage them to get Professional Help’

Not all things can be solved by talking. Talking is just one (granted very helpful) step on a long road to recovery. Sometimes it can be a lot more serious and your loved one will need professional help, whether thats counselling or medication. 

‘Address their Achievements’

We all know that feeling when you’ve been dieting and someone comments saying how good you look. I definitely think its the same for someone suffering with a mental illness. I love when someone notices how active I’ve been or how I’ve come out of my shell a little, because it shows me that I am slowly improving. 

‘How are you feeling?’

This is a real simple step. Ask your loved one how there day was, it really can lighten the mood. If we’ve had a bad day, revert back to number 3 & just listen. Let them rant about it, because a release after a bad day can be a lot more helpful than you may think. 

‘Relapse is Normal’

One of the worst things I would say about suffering with a mental illness is that horrible word ‘RELAPSE’. This is something that we all dread, but it happens and there is nothing to be ashamed off. IT DOES NOT MAKE YOU WEAK, IT WILL ONLY MAKE YOU STRONGER. 

‘If you don’t understand, just ask’

If there is something that you don’t understand when your loved one is talking to you, ask them. Jay often has questions and lots of them and there is nothing wrong with that. I love it when he asks questions because he’s trying to understand, it shows his willingness to help. 

He has asked why I am able to walk into a building first on somedays and why I make him walk in first, the next day. I don’t find it too easy to explain these things but I try & I know he appreciates me explaining it, as good as I can. 

‘Don’t feel ashamed if  YOU need help’

You may not be the one suffering with a metal illness, but we know it must be hard for you. I don’t think ‘burden’ is the right way to explain it, but you must feel snowed under feeling like you have to look after us all the time. Its ok to get some help of your own, we will understand.

‘Be Patient’

All we ask is that you’re patient with us. Recovery will take time and we are doing our best. Just please stand by us during the good & bad times, it means the world to us.

I hope this goes some way towards helping you to support your loved ones in there time of need.

I would like to finish this post by thanking …

My family, friends, best friend Paige and my other half Jay for being my rock & supporting me through my journey.

Stay Weird … X

Jamie

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