How to Deal With Mental Illness in the Family?

According to the existing studies, mental illness is one of the most common diseases in the world. It cuts across the demography and age and knows no geographical location.  If somebody in your family has been analyzed with any disorder, it is important to understand how to deal with it.

No blame game

The most common reaction to most people, when their dear one is diagnosed with a mental illness, is denial. Others take it as a personal blame, and they see like they have contributed to the illness. There are many mental disorders and there are tens of reasons and causes of mental disorder, and it is not possible to blame any one person or factor for such a misfortune. There are those that are hereditary while others suffer owing to a number of environmental factors. It is, hence; imprudent to blame any person or to blame yourself for when such an unfortunate thing happens.



Most mental illness patients are victims of endless stigma and are looked at with suspicion. There are cases of even some of them being subjected to violence by a society that does not understand them.  The first step you can do to your family member suffering from mental illness is to accept the condition. It is difficult to overcome the emotions, but it is crucial to understand their condition and help them cope with it. The society is not yet prepared to accept people who are considered abnormal or who may demonstrate unusual habits. The stigma of mental illness is still very strong even at workplace.  It is hence important that you serve as the link between the family member and the rest of the community and help them understand what you are going through.

Support them

Most of the patients suffering from mental disorders are prone to many dangers in life.  You will recognize that most of them do not have someone to turn to and may suffer in silence after being neglected by the family and the community. It is, hence; important if you are a family member to support them both physically and financially. They may be undergoing medication and spending a lot in terms of medical bills and hence it is vital that you be there for them. Moral and emotional support too will help them in their struggle with the disorder and will help in the recovery.  They may not be conscious enough to do some tasks on their own, and it is important that you be there to show them the way.

Support group

You may be tempted to handle this task on your own but remember you are also a human being and you will need to share your experiences. Joining a support group of people facing similar challenges will not only give you a platform to share ideas, but it will also help you release pent up frustrations. You can also be a great help to the rest of the faction by giving them solutions to your problem. You can be sure your burden will be eased when you encounter people dealing with the same problems you are facing.

In times of crisis

The most important thing when it comes to dealing with a family member suffering from a mental disorder is to have a plan of dealing with a critical situation. Despite your care, attention and medication, you loved one may start exhibiting worse symptoms that are beyond your understanding.  It is crucial during such times that you be prepared to help them seek psychiatric care immediately. You should be having emergency contacts of hospitals and specialists with you to help you handle situations as they arise.

Have a plan

When it comes to certain mental disorders, the patient might be exhibiting unpredictable behaviors while others might be sticking to a particular pattern of life.  Depending on how your patient is behaving, it is important that you have a plan to cope with all that. There is no telling when such symptoms or odd behaviors will be exhibited, but it is essential to be prepared at all times.  For instance, should it happen in public, you should have a plan of controlling the patient to avoid any physical harms coming to him or to other members of the public.

Seek assistance

For some disorders, you can handle the patients at home without any assistance. However, it is imperative to understand that this can be tiring eventually.  You should consider seeking assistance from professionals or from the rest of the family members once in a while.