Mental Health

7 Tips to Helping Somebody Struggling with Mental Health

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First things first, and I know this is everywhere nowadays, but it’s helped people I know, and it’s also helped me in times of need…

But if you are feeling the need to harm yourself, or know somebody who is showing possible signs, reach out, and get help. 1-800-273-8255 or https://www.mentalhelp.net

This article does not amount to the same thing about seeking professional help. I am not a professional, and do not claim to be, I am simply just looking to possibly help somebody going through a hard time, in any way I can. From my own personal experience

This topic is something of a sensitive topic for me, as I’ve struggled with it personally, as well as have known multiple people close to me who have struggled with it…

If you are somebody who has never struggled with either anxiety or depression before, before attempting to help them, stop for a bit, and try to put yourself in their shoes. I have written  Mental health seems to always have this stereotype revolving around it that it doesn’t matter as much as a physical illness, but it does. It truly does. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

1) Watch for tell tale signs

When somebody develops mental health issues, you may not even notice it. Since everybody it is different, they’ll of course have different ways of showing signs of spiraling into depression or anxiety, but nonetheless, there are some signs that you can look for! And remember, some people spiral fast and hard, and some take longer than others.

At first they’re more than likely going to be in denial about having any issues, and they’ll probably get real good about lying about stuff like this, but stick to your guns and always listen to your gut feeling.

With anxiety, they’ll tend to be jumpy more than normal, and they will also apologize a lot, or have tendencies to overthink things, and doubt themselves a lot.

With depression, you’ll noticed they will become more and more introverted as they spiral, as in you will quit hearing from them as much, and they will start to make excuses every time you ask them if they want to hang out. You also might notice their hygiene start to quickly deteriorate, and they will most likely not be as nearly motivated to do things they typically love.

2) Be careful to not be condescending

Don’t treat them like they’re different from everybody else, because they’re not. The more you walk on eggshells and treat them like they’re different, the more that person will feel as if they are outcasts, and they will begin to feel more and more dehumanized

Just treat them as you would anybody else, with maybe a little more attention. Even though deep down you know you’re keeping more of an eye on them than anybody else at the moment.

3) Be patient with them.

They will either push you away hard, or latch on to you. So be patient with them and make sure they are okay. This doesn’t mean give up your life or to forget your priorities, but make time for that friend, and give them a little more attention than normal

But keep in mind, the first step for them is the hardest, and will take patience

But also be careful that you don’t get pulled into the spiral. It is real easy when helping somebody through a tough time

4) Make sure they are getting the help they need.

Whether that’s helping them find the right therapist, and making sure they are going to their sessions, or even just making sure they go to work/class on time, and not skipping.

With that being said, be careful to not push to much, as that will have the adverse effects. Just as you have to be careful to not be condescending, in that it will make them feel more different and like they’re not “normal”, which will raise their chances of sinking deeper into depression.

5) Unless somebody wants to get help, there’s nothing can do to help

Don’t give up on them. Definitely still be there for them, but they need to realize they have a problem on their own, otherwise they will never truly progress.

I know it sucks, and depending on how close you are to that person, it can be miserable to watch, since there’s nothing you can do. But you also have to keep in mind your own mental health, and if you get too wrapped up in trying to help that person, instead of you helping them get better, they’ll just drag you down with them, and then you also need help.

6) Tracking down the source

While going through the healing process, they have to discover what the source of their mental illness is so that they can process and deal with the trauma of what happened to them, however you have to remind them that whoever hurt them, is also just human, and probably didn’t mean to harm them the way they did. However if that person who hurt them is still toxic, make sure to keep them apart. When it boils down to it, each situation is of course going to be different.

7) Be careful to not criticize them

If they are apologizing too much, don’t blatantly tell them to stop apologizing, instead try a more gentle approach, such as “are you apologizing for being human?” and reassure them that they are alright and no different from anyone else.

Speaking from very personal experience, people struggling with anxiety or depression, have a tendency to always be much more apologetic. Coming from the fact that we don’t want to step on any toes, or upset anyone, when we have the slightest feeling that we have done that, we will immediately start profusely apologizing.

But if we get shamed for apologizing, I promise you it  will only make us feel worse, and we will then also continue to apologize for that as well.

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