Coping with a Loved One’s Mental Health Disorder

Strategies to Help You Understand Your Family Member’s Mental Health Concerns

According to the American Psychiatric Association, there are several ways that you can help a loved one cope with mental illness. First and foremost, it is important to show support instead of judgment. Additionally, the APA recommends knowing the warning signs of mental health disorders.

As noted on their website, warning signs of mental illness include:

  • Changes in appetite or sleep behavior
  • Dramatic mood changes
  • Signs of withdrawal
  • Lack of functioning at work or school
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Heightened sensitivity
  • Loss of initiative
  • Feelings of being disconnected
  • Illogical thinking 
  • Enhanced nervousness
  • Uncharacteristic behavior

If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, it is important to approach your loved one with care. It is strongly recommended that you seek the guidance of a medical professional and that you encourage your loved one to seek treatment.

The APA also recommends educating yourself on mental health conditions and the treatments available. The more that you know and understand about the disorder, the more that you can do to help your loved one.

The Importance of Seeking Treatment

It can be difficult for someone to want to seek help, but it is important. Mental health disorders are common, with millions of Americans suffering from them. Unfortunately, few ever get the treatment that they need. 

Today, there are more treatment options than ever before. Many programs offer flexibility and options tailored to the individual.