Yesterday was World Mental Health Day and I wanted to share an interesting article I came across!
I took a *very* informal poll on social a few weeks ago asking what type of info you all would be most interested in reading about regarding mental health....
The OVERWHELMING response was that you all wanted help/advice on how to help a loved one who is struggling with mental illness. From depression to anxiety to bipolar, many people are facing challenges while supporting a loved one who is suffering.
Here are a few tips from Robin Henderson, PsyD. Check out her full article HERE.
How do we know when someone is experiencing depression if they don’t tell us they are?
"Ever notice when someone seems 'off' — they don’t return calls, stay away from social situations, seem overly tired, and may cry easily and often? While these aren’t all the signs, they are some that friends notice first. That’s a good time to take the first step and ask."
What can we do besides listen?
"Listening is good, but it’s not always enough. Let them know that mental illness is treatable — with great success. Let them know they aren’t alone and that they aren’t the first person to have it. Normalizing things is a great way to take the first step to getting help."
What shouldn't we say to someone with mental illness?
"'Get over it! You don’t have anything to be depressed about.' 'Buck up! This too shall pass!' Anything that minimizes their experience isn’t helpful and could even be harmful."
It can be hard not to take our loved one’s depression personally. What’s a good way of dealing with the guilt and powerlessness that can come along with this?
"Self-care is important. Remember that no one can 'cause' depression in another
— and unless you’re a trained professional, you can’t stop it either. There’s a big difference between empathy and sympathy, so be sure to protect your own boundaries. Don’t join someone in their depression."
Where should we start looking for help once we know someone needs it?
"The best place to start is usually with someone’s insurance company. Many insurers have limited panels, and you need a referral that will be covered. Most insurers will help and provide leads for therapists. Primary care physicians also have referrals."
I know when dealing with my own mental illness challenges, it is my friends and family who help me push through. From assisting with making appointments, to attending appointments with me, to just answering a phone call and listening to me talk....they are invaluable.
I hope this information has helped you, or someone you know who might be facing these challenges. The more we talk openly about mental illness, the more we can find unity and help others! We can do this!