You’ve grown concerned about the recent shift in personality or disposition in your loved one. You worry they may need help to treat a potential behavioral health condition, which is more common than you may realize. How do you express your concerns in a way that’s constructive and won’t be misconstrued?
Here at Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare, we want to help provide you with the tools and mindset necessary to have a positive conversation and support your family member.
When It Comes to Mental Health Help, Timing Is Everything
It’s best you bring up the discussion of family and mental health at the right time and place. For instance, this isn’t a conversation to have at the family dinner table or the next family reunion in front of everyone. Wait until you are both alone and there is little chance of interruption. That way, your loved one won’t feel ambushed or uneasy about having a delicate conversation in public.
Put Your Needs Last
It’s perfectly normal to want to do what’s best for those closest to you. That said, you’ve got to make sure you remove your ego from the equation. Do not make yourself out to be the hero, only the person looking out for your family member. With mental health family support, the spotlight is always on the person in need of professional help.
If you manage to get your family member to open up about their mental health condition, do your best to remain understanding and empathetic rather than judgmental. Again, this is 100% about the other person, not you. Use “I” statements to display your level of concern and try to understand the potential root causes of your family member’s anxiety, depression, or another condition.
Work to Destigmatize Therapy
In some families, it is not common to go to or talk about therapy. This could be because going to therapy is associated with having a mental “defect” or weakness. The truth of the matter is that getting therapy paves the way to understanding and living a more fulfilled life. Your family member could need help seeing the situation from this perspective.
Therapists are doctors of the mind, and few people would hesitate to see a medical doctor for a serious health complication. Why not see a therapist for a serious mental condition? Similarly how you would need to take medicine for a physical condition like a cold or fever, someone with a mental health problem may need to take medication in order to feel better.
Put in the Work
Some mental health conditions have a way of bringing about feelings of deep despair. This means your loved one may not feel they have any hope of overcoming the condition. What that also means is that if you’re willing to persuade your family member to seek help, you should do so with a willingness to help find that help. You may even want to offer to go with them to the first few therapy sessions.
No one, family members or otherwise, should feel ashamed about getting professional help for a mental health condition, especially with so much help that’s available today. For more tips and sources of help, our Atlanta IOP Treatment Center, Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare, can help.