Coping With Mental Illness
People often think that mental illness happens to ‘the other person.’ As a matter of fact, mental illness is very prevalent. For instance, 54 million Americans suffer from some form of mental illness.
Not everyone is ready to cope with mental illness or learning that their beloved one is suffering from the same. It is emotionally and physically straining and makes us feel judged by others.
Mental illness is a brain disorder that makes it difficult for one to cope with the day to day routines and demands. The disturbance in thoughts varies in severity.
Below are some of the forms of mental disorder:
- Bipolar disorder
Mental health awareness should be the number one priority to people. In recent times, we have seen a rise in mental health speakers in schools, hospitals and the likes. The number one cause of mental illness is stress. Stress comes about as a result of a stressful situation or a series of stressful events.
Warning signs and symptoms
Mental illness does not just happen. There are a couple of tale and tell signs to watch out for.
- Depression that is prolonged.
- Confused thinking.
- Social withdrawal
- Anger outbursts
- Problems coping with normal day to day activities
- Excessive anxiety and fear
- Sudden changes in sleeping habits.
- Suicidal thoughts
- Substance abuse
- Inexplicable ailments
- Prolonged negativity
- Inability to manage responsibilities
The above are symptoms of mental illness in adults and young adults. Below are a few symptoms of mental illness to watch out for in kids and toddlers; especially if you are a parent
- Deteriorating performance both in school and at home.
- Eating disorders and changes in sleeping habits
- Temper tantrums
Coping with mental illness
The best way to cope with mental illness is to accept your feelings. Although mental illness manifests itself in different ways, families living with a person with mental disabilities share similar experiences. They are stigmatized o the extent that they deny warning signs and worry what other people will think of them. They are often in thoughts wondering what may have been the root cause of the problem.
Families should accept that these feelings are normal and common to families with a case of mental illness. Talking to mental illness professionals will help ease the emotional baggage that comes with mental disorder. Then you can share what you have learned with others.
How to handle the unusual behavior
You can spot a person suffering from mental disorder just by observing their behaviors. A person suffering from mental disorder can be extremely quiet or withdrawn. On the other hand, they may exhibit signs of extreme anxiety and anger outbursts. They may also sometimes burst into tears.
Even during treatment, a mental patient may show signs of anti-social behavior. Families and friends may find these behaviors difficult to accept especially in public and at social gatherings.
Another way to handle the unusual behaviors is to establish a support network from friends and relatives. If the thought of confiding in your family and friends seems like a daunting task, look for a support group that is dealing with the same predicament. It becomes a safe haven where you can talk about your issues to people who understand firsthand what you are going through. They listen and offer sound advice.
Therapy is also another route you can take. It is beneficial to both you and the person suffering from mental illness. They suggest ways in which you can cope with the illness and better understand the mental illness patient. Look for a therapist you can talk to.
In the beginning, it will be a bit hard opening up but with time, you will be comfortable and glad that you sought help.
It is also good to take some time out. Families that have a mentally ill patient often direct all their energy and time to them. That may cause some members to feel ignored, resentful and unable to pursue their own interests. Caregivers should create time out of their busy schedules to relax and do other fun activities. This will prevent them from being angry and frustrated. This will also allow you to keep things in perspective and have more patience and compassion for the mentally disturbed.
All in all it is important to remember that there is hope for persons suffering from mental illnesses and they should not be an outcast in society.