If Your Partner/Friend is Acting Differently “Ask Twice”

Over 70 percent of global population with mental health problems does not receive treatment from a health care staff, researchers suggest. The major factors contributing to rising prevalence include ignorance about how to access treatment, lack of knowledge to identify features of mental illnesses, expectation of discrimination against people diagnosed with mental illness and prejudice against people who have mental illness.

It doesn’t mean patients don’t want to share their problems with their closed ones but they find it difficult to cope with the stigma related to social exclusion and prejudices. Self-stigma has been identified as one of the biggest roadblocks to seek treatment or even report problems by those who are struggling with mental health problems.

This make a reasonable amount of population to internalize this stigma and suffer the harm to self-efficacy, self esteem, and of course the goals they believe can’t be achieved. They don’t share their sufferings to even to those who are close to them because they are not sure if they would understand them and support them. This is the time when we should get to their heart and understand all they need is someone who treats them as someone who is not well and not the one who is crazy.

Here are some suggestions that may help you approach someone living with a mental health condition like they just need medical assistance, not sympathy or special care.

  • Ease into the conversation, gradually. It may be possible that the person is not comfortable to talk but don’t let this response discourage your intent to help him or her. Greet them and extend a gentle kindness. This way you can win their trust and once you are able to do that rest all will fall in place by itself.
  • Ensure you speak to them a relaxed and calm manner. Remember, a little arrogance is enough to agitate them and it’s not their fault because they are not well. But you are well and make sure you behave like that.
  • Be compassionate, respectful, and empathetic to their feelings by engaging in reflective listening, such as “I hear that you are having a bad day today. Yes, some days are certainly more challenging than others. I understand.”
  • Be a good listener, be responsive and make eye contact with a caring approach.
  • Ask them appropriate questions and avoid prying. Instead of directing the conversation at them with ‘you’ statements, use ‘I’ statements instead. And of course, Give them the opportunity to talk and open up but don’t press.
  • Share some easy insights as a way of encouraging easy conversation, such as comments about the weather, the community or other.
  • Before you choose your words to communicate with them, make sure they are apt and age appropriate. Also, keep in mind that mental illness has nothing to do with a person’s intelligence.
  • Be aware of a person becoming upset or confused by your conversation with them. Show respect and understanding for how they describe and interpret their symptoms.
  • Offer your support and connect them to help if you feel that they need it. Ask, “How can I help?” if appropriate, or even, “Can I pray with you now?” if appropriate.
  • Give the person hope for recovery, offer encouragement and prayers.

These are some of the suggestions for those who want their loved ones to fight and overcome their mental health problems. But, some problems may be so complicated that they require timely medical assistance. Call our 24/7 helpline number 877-636-0042 to know more about mental health treatment centers in California. You can even chat online with our representatives to gain information about residential mental health facilities in California.

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