How to behave with a person suffering from mental illness?

person suffering from mental illness

Nowadays, Mental health has become a crucial part of everyone’s lives. All of us face tough times, which can have an impact on our mental health. Many factors contribute to our mental well-being like, the workload in the workspace, interpersonal relationships, etc. For example, a student can feel stress and anxiety before entering the exam hall, as it is natural, but when this stress and anxiety hinders the performance of the student then, this can become an issue related to his mental health. Many mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia bipolar, etc. affect many individuals every day.

Global Mental Health Crisis:

According to a report, by WHO which says that nearly, 970 million around the world are dealing with mental health issues. Anxiety and depression remain the most common disorder on the list.

After the COVID pandemic, these numbers have risen a lot. Many people in this world are fighting this battle silently, every day but just like a physical disorder, a mental health disorder should not be ignored for a long time as it can create difficulties in the end. Every day we came across the news where teenagers died by suicide. Recently, Kota, which is considered a hub for the IIT and new preparations, witnessed 24 deaths from suicide so far. Because of the lack of mental health education, this number is increasing every day all around the world.

Challenges Faced by Teens in Mental Health

It is very important to understand to study the minds of these children as to what made these teenagers take this step in their lives. Lack of mental health education has an adverse impact on our society. Many people sometimes do not even want to acknowledge others’ mental health. Even if someone wants to talk about the mental illness that they are struggling with, just because of the fear of judgment that people pass on them and the stigma attached to mental health.
However, some people do share it, and many people do not know how to handle it. They do not know what to say and what not to say to that patient.

In this article, we will shed light on how to behave with patients with mental health issues.

Some tips for behaving with mental illness patients.

Providing A Comfort Space:

The first thing you should do whenever you interact with mental health patients is to give them a space to share as much as they want to. This will provide a comfortable space. Do not pressurize to tell you everything. Sometimes it is tough for people to share their inner feelings unless they trust somebody. Try to make them feel you are trustworthy. There are many things that they do not want to talk about so don’t ask those questions again and again, this might make them uncomfortable.

Avoid Doing Guesses About Feeling:

Do not try to guess their feeling on your own. Since we are just talking to that person and we are not diagnosing them nor the trained psychologists or counselor. It is important to educate yourself about the mental health condition rather than self-diagnosing it.

Be Respectful And Empathetic:

It is important to be empathetic and respectful while dealing with people with mental health issues. Try to acknowledge his or her situation and not be someone who gives sympathy to the situation.

Respect Their Views:

Whenever you are trying to talk with mental health patients, always carefully listen to them and make eye contact with them so that it ensures that you’re listening to them. Don’t disagree with them.

Educate Yourself About Mental Health Disorder:

Sometimes patients with schizophrenia may say that they can see people who are spying on them or they’re fearing for them. As these symptoms are quite common in schizophrenia, don’t counter them by saying that these thoughts aren’t real or make no sense. Saying it can make the patient more paranoid and hostile.

Understanding The Warning Signs:

If the behavior has drastic change like they’re withdrawing from others, or not being socially active like they used to then these signs could be a warning. It is important to keep a regular check on them, but not make it awkward for them.

Do Conversation At A Low Distraction Place:

In conversations with mental health conditions, people should be in a place where there is little distraction so that they can express themselves. One topic should be discussed at a time and the whole communication should not be very complicated. Make them feel like whatever they are feeling is valid.

Dont Put Pressure Over Them:

If they are becoming upset with the conservation dont pressure them to continue it. When communicating with the patient dont make fun or be sarcastic about their conditions.

Self Care:

Focusing on self-care. There are many ways by which one can help the person to practice self-care. The Various ideas for self-care include a night of good sleep, involvement in physical exercises, eating healthy food, spending time with the family and loved ones, and writing about your feelings and thoughts.

Removing Stigma:

In our society, whenever the topic of mental health is discussed, there is a stigma attached to it, that men can never have any mental health conditions. If they do so, then they are considered weak. Since our society believes so much in gender equality, therefore this inequality in mental health conditions should also be removed.

Some of the books that can help mental illness patients

  1. Happy Days by Gabrielle Bernstein
  2. I Really Needed This Today
  3. The Comfort Book by Matt Haig
  4. More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are
  5. Brave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani

Since the journey of mental health would not be easy, therefore, constant support is necessary for the patient. Being there for their ups and downs is what plays an important role in this journey. Support from family, friends, and loved ones could make a difference in the recovery from mental health conditions.

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