Some families experience the pain that a relative has a mental health condition. It can be an addiction, an emotional difficulty in getting ...
Some families experience the pain that a relative has a mental health condition. It can be an addiction, an emotional difficulty in getting out of a difficult time, or a mental disorder.
Faced with these situations, as family members, we often have no idea what to do, how to behave, what to believe, and how to help our loved ones.
Here are some considerations.
Mental illnesses exist
Sometimes when someone shows symptoms of a mental illness, we have various thoughts that are out of place without us knowing.
One possible idea is that you really just want to get attention
This is a serious error. In reality, what the person who suffers from this is, has severe difficulties in sharing it, in acknowledging it, and is afraid of being judged. It needs you to understand that mental illness really exists, and you are living it.
Another possibility is to think that our family member does not love us
This is also a mistake. Whatever hurts you that makes you feel like he doesn't love you, it has nothing to do with you. It has to do with his own history, and with his personal difficulties when suffering from this mental illness.
For example, many times when a person feels depressed and does not want to go out with you, you might think that it is because they do not love you enough. This is not like this. His own depression makes it impossible for him to want to accompany you. It's like asking a blind person to see. It cannot, it does not have the capacity; This is not about will.
Another strong phrase is to say that he is crazy
Madness is sometimes the solution for a person. Why the solution? Because the pain is too much. Insanity then turns to relief. However, they often have symptoms earlier that can prevent them from crossing the line. Calling him crazy, or judging him pushes him to the other side. Being able to try to empathize, understand his perspective, and make him feel loved with all his pain may help him cope with his condition.
Not only is it your family member, but it is also your entire system
One of the great difficulties of the relatives of people who suffer from mental illness is that when they go to a professional, Pandora's box usually opens. The whole family tries to avoid it since it is painful. However, when a person suffers from a mental health issue, not only does the person experience it, the entire family system suffers from it. Everyone in their relationship dynamics is sick, everyone needs to seek order. All can contribute to illness or health.
For example, before an addict, the person is judged for being an addict. However, the other members of the family also present other types of socially well-regarded addictions. For example, to be "the good one". So, for example, being the victim of an alcoholic will make you better. This is also an addiction. This is why it is important that the entire family system be able to seek professional help.
Sometimes in this process secrets come to light, the same ones for which the family became ill, and for which it is difficult for them to enter a psychotherapeutic process.
In the same way, the family has a way of relating that is usually a habit. Being able to break that path and start a new one usually creates difficulty for all family members. This is why many times they themselves, unconsciously, prefer the suffering of their relatives. This way, everyone can get on with their life without having to face their own bit of insanity.
Do your part
Within the professional care of the family, it could happen that some work, others do not. Some move forward and do different things, others don't. Some get better, feel better, some don't. It can be painful and even frustrating.
However, the best thing you can do for your family is your part. As Alain Joule says, "the best we can do for those who love us is to remain happy ." As long as you focus on it, it will also be in favor of yours.
Give your support
Your family member needs you, your listening, your understanding, your honesty. If you can be on the lookout, call him, stay in touch, do it. If he asks you for distance, space, give it. If you can share what your own storms do to show your own shadow, do so.
Make him feel part of the family, do not exclude him, to the best of your ability. This does not mean that you should harm yourself. That is to say, first it is to see for your own well-being, and to the extent of your possibilities to support those who need it. Respect him by supporting him, do not help him as if he were someone who cannot, but by looking at his dignity to face this situation.
Live your life
As I said before, it is important to maintain the rhythm of your life, and that it does not come to the detriment of supporting your family member, since this will generate anger towards him. This can damage your relationship, and it definitely won't help either of you in the process of getting better.
If you think that a family member may be suffering from mental problems, seek help. It is one of the best things you can do for him, for yourself, and for your entire family.