Posted: February 16, 2018 16:23 by admin

Accepting a mental health diagnosis can be very difficult. Having a mental illness or having a loved one with a mental illness presents many challenges and is not an easy road to travel. It is important to remember that you did not cause your loved one’s mental illness and you most certainly cannot cure it either.
A family will be most successful dealing with a mental disorder when:

  • Disorders are identified early with the family working as a team with their loved one seeking treatment and helping them to develop and maintain positive coping mechanisms.
  • Their loved one has insurance or the financial means, the family may consider their treatment as an adjunct to their loved one’s treatment.
  • The person affected is willing to seek help and comply with the treatment plan. This is key.
  • The family plays an active role in their loved one’s recovery. The loved one can’t do this alone. It is important for them to have a support system in place.

Ways to Support a Loved OneFAMILY PSYCH MENTAL ILLNESS.jpeg
  1. Educate yourself about mental illness: Being educated about the illness not only involves you in the recovery process but helps you understand that the actions your loved one exhibits are not in their control.
  2. Seek out resources and support: Reading publications and seeking treatment can help educate you about the illness.
  3. Have realistic expectations: It is vital that you and your loved one undergoing treatment have realistic expectations regarding their treatment and recovery.
  4. Work closely with your loved one’s treatment team: Let treatment providers and centers know you are involved and hold them accountable.
  5. Let your loved ones have control: Allow them to attempt tasks you may not think they are capable of completing. Don’t deny them the opportunity to be in control.
  6. Encourage your loved one to talk about their mental health: Remind them they are in control of their bodies and active participants in their treatment. They set the tone with others about how and what they are comfortable discussing. 
  7. Realize the feelings of guilt and shame are normal: These feelings are typical reactions and expected.
  8. Help yourself: It is okay to ask for help for yourself too. You are encouraged to ask for help for yourself especially when you think you are handling a situation such as this “just fine.” Chances are you aren’t.
  9. Eat together as a family - families that eat together regularly are less likely to be violent or experience emotional stress. Regular mealtimes create a sense of belonging and connection and can reduce the chances of teenagers turning to drugs or alcohol.
  10. Encourage yourself or your loved one: Convey hope to your loved one. Let them know recovery in within their reach. Know that your recovery is part of their recovery.

If You’re On Your Own

If your family is not there to support you, it’s important to remember that you still deserve to have people in your life who care about you and want to help you. You’ll just have to look harder for them.

Friends. Find friends who will be close to you, support you, and not leave at the first sign of trouble like when you have a bad day. Genuine friends can help fill the hole left by your family. You may feel somewhat isolated at first, but as you work through your issues, you may find it easier to make and maintain stronger and more meaningful friendships in the future.
Support Groups. Another great way to have understanding and support is an open support group. They can help you identify specific problems in your life, while also making connections with other like-minded people.
Mental Health Professionals. You may have no one in your personal life you feel you can talk to without being judged by them. Seek out an objective third party to honestly listen to a conversation between you and your psychologist, therapist, doctor, psychiatrist, or other professional. Most are glad they did.

Education. Books, websites, brochures, or anything about your disorder can help you better understand what is happening to you and what you can do about it. Talk about it with others and listen to what you are saying to them helps with acceptance and increases your knowledge of the illness.
Spirituality. A belief in something more substantial than yourself—whether it is your religion, faith, or just an overall connection to humanity can help and is highly correlated with those that choose not to end their own lives.
Music. A lot of people find music to be a release when they don’t have the words, the time, or just don’t know what to say or do. However, be careful in your choice of music—it can help you release a lot of emotions, but for some people, particular kinds of music can serve to reinforce negative feelings.
Healthy Lifestyle Choices. These choices may be the most critical component when trying to break out of the damage your family dynamic created.

Dr. Lee Ann Lehman
Dr. Lee Ann Lehman focuses on the entire family as she helps to resolve complex issues. Her approach is different because she thinks outside the box to help guide you to the best solution(s) tailored to fit your needs. She works alongside you empowering you with the tools to gain control of your situation. Using respect, kindness, and understanding, she helps you to feel that it is OK to seek help rather than continue to be troubled by your situation. Her techniques are evidence-based and proven to be effective. As a result, she can help families learn coping skills to help deal with complex mental health issues and situations such as divorce, substance abuse, and trauma.

Driven by her practice’s mission statement: “To increase an individual’s and/or family’s ability to cope with difficult situations using acceptance, understanding, education and guided practice with the tools necessary to restore confidence and freedom from the burden of emotional and physical threat.”

Call today at 561-701-3159 to obtain answers to your questions and to schedule your appointment.

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2101 Vista Parkway
Suite 202
West Palm Beach, FL 33411
(561) 701-3159

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(561) 701-3159

The Family Psychologist
850 NW Federal Highway
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Delray Beach, FL 33483
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