Being a caregiver or part of a support network for someone with a mental illness can be difficult at times. While the focus is usually on the identified patient, the caregivers and support networks also have their own needs for resources which should be addressed. Taking care of oneself is as important as taking care of others.
Unlike the flue or a fever, people don’t generally wake up one morning with a full blown mental illness. Symptoms of mental illness have a way of gradually working their way into the person’s life. The illness may not be noticeable at first, and even when it becomes so, many people are not ready to accept it. Still and especially in those beginning stages, a strong support systems is important. Even when the person is very likely to withdraw or push others away, this is a time that they truly need a strong support system and the resilience and commitment in family and friends really count so they can be there.
While we are still working on learning the cause of most mental illnesses, there are a few things that we can continue to do to maintain good mental health.
Some behaviors such as:
- Taking care of your body- Making sure you are eating and sleeping well and getting exercise
- Engaging in life affirming activities and managing stress
- Taking care of and continuing to develop your mind
- Taking in active role in life
- eliminating negativity (things, situations and people)
can be very helpful in helping you keep some mental health conditions at a better distance.
Despite its prevalence in our communities, Mental Illness remains hushed and stigmatized. Much of this is due to misconceptions and lack of knowledge. Learn five things that are not not true of mental illness.
Many adults now diagnosed with ADD/ADHD were once children whose needs for services was missed. Now as adults they have the diagnosis to help put a name to what they have been experiencing, but the is still a need to implement changes to help them manage the symptoms and make adjustments help them learn excel.
Every adult with ADD/ADHD should have
- A psychiatrist
- A therapist
- An accountability partner
- A strong schedule/Plan/Organization system
In recent years, many people have adopted, accepted or acquiesced to the use of various mental illnesses to define or describe unacceptable behaviors. It’s fine that you don’t want to call your friend a jerk, but why should people with mental illness bear the burden of being associated with them.
Certain illnesses such as bipolar disorder, mental retardation have been so unfairly used in place of words like stupid, idiot. People describe behaviors as psychotic instead of rude, erratic, aggressive or plain old jerky. We don’t associate negative behaviors with physical ailments, and the same should apply to mental ailments. You don’t say someone is a heart attack when they say something ridiculous, so why would anyone think it’s acceptable to say that they are mentally retarded. If you won’t say your jerky friend is a tumor, why would be suitable to say freely that he’s bipolar.
People who suffer from mental illnesses have enough of their own troubles to deal with. They don’t to be lumped in with the rude, the ignorant or the uncaring jerks of the world. So next time you need to define a behavior, please use your words correctly. Call someone a stupid idiot or a rude jerk if they deserve it, but don’t offend people with mental illnesses by putting them in the same category.
It is reported that 1 in 4 Americans suffer from a mental illness every year. These include depression, a disease that impacts 10% of Americans every year. There are many ways of addressing or treating depression, including
Doing nothing– Which does not help. It really just gives the disease time and opportunity to get stronger and gain an even more debilitating impact.
Medication– People often get prescriptions from family physicians for antidepressants. While antidepressants help with the symptoms they don’t address the core issues and the relief they provide can cease when the medication is discontinued.
Talk Therapy– Helps in providing longer term results and helps client develop coping skill to deal with the disease as well as managing symptoms. Because it is a learning process, it can take a couple of sessions for clients to really start to see feel the results.
Combination of Medication and Talk Therapy– This method combines the benefits of both methods while each one cancels out the drawbacks of the other. Research have found this to be the most effective method for treating depression.
Is depression different from being sad? Absolutely! Sadness can be a symptom of depression but the presence of one does not necessarily mean the other is present.
How come more suicides are not caught and presented? When signs are noticed, people often do act, but the signs of suicidal intent, if they are present, are often not clear indications of the intent. There are some signs that can open the way to asking the questions. When these signs are noticed, the question should be asked.
While we cannot always predict the course of relationships, research has shown some trends that we have come to anticipate and as such, can prepare for or safeguard against. Relationship maintenance is one of those. While many people know of the 7-year itch, many don’t realize that there are steps that can be taken to help your relationship survive or even thrive through what can for many couples be a turbulent period.