Practical Ways to Help Someone Struggling With Psychological Distress
Sometimes life just feels too intense. When the stress becomes too great to bear, overcoming anxiety is a constant battle, or the low mood never goes away, it’s time to get professional psychological help. Support from friends and family is crucial too. There are several ways you can be a positive force in the life of someone you know as they work through psychological unrest.
Let Them Know Help Is Available
People who are going through psychological troubles sometimes deal with them for so long that they forget what it’s like to feel okay and may just think they have no choice but to endure this anguish for the rest of their lives. That’s why it’s so important to reach out to them and talk about the types of help they could get.
If a person is already receiving psychological treatment, check with them to make sure they’re happy with the care they’re getting and verify whether or not there are things you could do to facilitate helping them become and stay healthy.
Demonstrate Genuine Love Towards the Person
There is, unfortunately, a great deal of stigma surrounding psychological problems and many people who suffer from them fear they won’t receive authentic love from friends and family members. Use both your words and actions to tell the person in your life that you love them just the same as you ever did despite the psychological problems they’re dealing with. Sometimes that means sticking by a person’s side even if you know there is little or no chance they will ever be completely well.
Take Care of Yourself
You might initially feel compelled to give everything you have to the person who’s battling psychological problems. But if that means you hardly ever sleep, you can’t stop thinking of them, and you constantly sacrifice your own well being, you’ll almost certainly become so burned out that you can barely help yourself, let alone someone else.
Experiment with techniques to get rejuvenated when you start to feel the strain of associating with someone who has severe psychological distress. In some cases, the person may be so ill that they begin to fear things that have no basis in reality, threaten to commit suicide, or feel so depressed they can’t get out of bed. All of these side effects can be hard for you to deal with
Things like meditation, yoga, and writing in a journal may give you an outlet for your feelings and ensure you’re not under excessive pressure from trying to help someone else. You may also find it useful to join a support group for friends and family members of people who have been diagnosed with mental illnesses.
Be Available to Pitch In
If a person is going through a particularly severe bout of psychological problems, he or she may be unable to do some of the tasks of daily living. Suddenly, tasks like cooking meals, cleaning the house, or shopping for essentials may seem impossible. During those periods, do your best to clear your schedule enough so you’re available to help with some of those responsibilities as needed.
Learn About Human Psychology
It’s also a good idea to learn about the psychological issues your loved one has been diagnosed with. While researching, you may naturally branch into other areas of psychology, such as those that relate to consumer and organizational behavior.
If you find you’re interested in those topics, you may be a good candidate for USC’s online masters in Applied Psychology. The concepts you learn from this University of Southern California program may not directly relate to a loved one’s mental illness, but you’ll get an excellent supplemental picture of how human minds work.
Assisting someone who has psychological problems isn’t always easy. However, if you indicate you’re committed, your efforts should pay off for you and the person you love.