Dealing with a Family member with a Mental illness
|What is Mental Illness|
|How to Cope|
One out of four Americans has a mental illness during any given year.? A mental illness is a disease that causes mild to severe disturbances in thought and/or behavior, making it difficult to cope with life's ordinary demands and routines.?
There are more than 200 types of mental illnesses. Some of the more common disorders are:
Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, thought patterns, personal habits and/or social withdrawal.
Mental illnesses may be caused by a reaction to environmental stresses, genetic factors, biochemical imbalances, or a combination of these. With proper care and treatment most people with a mental illness or emotional disorder can be helped.[ Top ]
In older children and pre-adolescents:
In younger children:
***If you recognize these symptoms in a loved one it is extremely important to take the warning signs seriously, and help them seek professional help. ***[ Top ]
Dealing with a family member with a mental illness can be both hard and frustrating.? What you may think is easy and straightforward isn't so for your family member, because the illness impairs their ability to deal with these situations.? Take the time to educate yourself about your family member's illness and its treatment.? It's normal to not understand exactly what your family member is going through.
Patience and understanding are your greatest tools.? Realize that a mental illness can alter moods, attitudes, and habits.? Understand that whoever is suffering from this illness can probably see these changes too, and are probably scared by his or her inability to control him/herself.? Provide your family member with a safe environment so he or she won't be judged or condemned.? Also, encourage your family member to stay on the treatment.? Remember -- your job is to be supportive.? If you do not know how to handle a situation talk to your own doctor or campus health professional for help.? You may, also, want to join a support group for family members of people with mental disorders.?[ Top ]