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5 Steps to Understanding a Loved One’s Mental Health Issues

5 Steps to Understanding a Loved One’s Mental Health Issues

Increasing understanding of a loved one’s mental health condition can ease tension, improve relationships, and avoid addiction

People who experience mental health conditions may sometimes act in ways that can be misunderstood. Taking time to increase understanding can go a long way towards easing tension and improving relationships. It can also contribute to a growth in support, which can improve the quality of life of those who experience mental health issues including addiction to drugs like clonazepam. Ways to increase understanding of a loved one’s mental health condition include the following:

  1. Research symptoms – It is easy for frustration to grow when people believe that others are deliberately provoking them or acting in illogical ways. Understanding that behavior is typical for those who suffer from a given disorder can reduce tension and increase compassion.

It is wise to learn common symptoms and also to become aware of those that may be less common but that could provoke a crisis situation. If violence and abuse are possible, it is prudent to have a plan for confronting it. Discussing the plan in advance can be helpful.

  1. Research treatments – There are generally many options for treating a given condition. Understanding the approach that a practitioner is taking can help friends and family members avoid doing anything counterproductive to the treatment protocol. It can also help in understanding any exacerbations or other reactions to treatment that may be experienced. Being aware of options can also help friends and family members maintain hope and raise the hope of their loved ones if one approach doesn’t produce the hoped-for results.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) points out that friends and family members can offer support, encouragement, suggestions and input but can’t make treatment decisions for their loved ones. They note that acknowledging someone’s right to decide their own treatment path creates a helpful and respectful healing environment.

If loved ones give permission, it is wise to discuss their treatment plans with their medical providers. It is helpful to know what to expect as treatment progresses. It can also be important to have contact information for practitioners and to know when and how to contact them if there are significant changes or other concerns.

If friends and family members understand a loved one’s treatment plan, they are more likely to be able to help implement it. The Canadian Mental Health Association notes that people can help mental health patients in many ways. These include providing both emotional support and practical help, which may include managing doctor’s appointments.

  1. Ask questions – Although there are commonalities among people who share a diagnosis, all people are unique and have personal experiences all their own. Friends and family members may want to ask their loved ones about the symptoms they’ve researched and whether or not they experience them. They may also want to ask their loved ones their feelings about the diagnosis. Are they relieved to have a diagnosis or afraid of what it might mean? Are they hopeful about treatment?  It can also be helpful to ask what type of support and assistance would be most meaningful to them.

Asking questions implies listening closely to the answers. NAMI notes that careful listening is one of the best ways that a friend or family member can show support to their loved one. They note that people sometimes say hurtful things but that trying to recognize and acknowledge the emotion that prompted the words can be helpful. An individual’s mental health diagnosis generally affects everyone in the family. The American Psychological Association notes that it is important for parents of children with mental health conditions to ask both the healthy and ill children how they feel about the changes to the family caused by mental illness.

  1. Participate in therapy – Sometimes, family therapy is part of a loved one’s treatment program. Individual therapy for family members can also be helpful. Ideally, it would be provided by a counselor who understands the issues faced by both people with the diagnosed mental illness and their families. Counseling can help family members cope and increase their understanding of the issues their loved ones face.
  1. Participate in support groups – There are many local and online support groups for families of people with mental illnesses like clonazepam addiction. These can serve multiple roles providing stress relief as well as increased understanding of the conditions. Support group members may also recommend books, videos or other resources that will also increase understanding.

Integrated Treatment for Addiction and Mental Health Disorders

Mental health conditions and addictions to drugs like clonazepam often co-exist. If your loved one is suffering from both, we can help you find coordinated and integrated treatment that addresses both issues simultaneously. Consultants who staff our toll-free helpline can answer your questions and help you identify your treatment options. They can even check your insurance coverage for you if desired at no cost or obligation. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, so there is never a wrong time to call. Why not call now?