It is hard to comprehend whether their mental health is suffering or if they are just going through a mental rough patch. They become distant. They stare off during conversations. They are there physically, but mentally you know they are somewhere else. They cannot seem to comprehend it themselves, either. They keep saying they are trying to figure things out but you can tell they are lost. They do not seem to have the tools to fix this. But let me tell you...you do not have the tools to fix this either. You can be there for them as much as possible but it is not your burden to uphold fixing their issues.
Sometimes we love someone so much we feel as though we can fix all their problems. This is too much to take on and also very false. Mental health is not something someone can just fix. Through therapy, awareness, and willingness to work through mental health issues we can help our loved one contain the issues. Key word: contain. Nothing will ever be fixed. It is not something that just goes away. This is why it is too much for us to take on the responsibility of being the fixer or problem solver.
The only things we can do are show our love, support, and kindness towards the delicate issue. Offering to talk it out with the person. Getting them to release some tension they are feeling inside. Then and only then can you figure out what this person is going through mentally. Could it be they are just going through a hard time? Are they having a life-crisis? Are they question what their life means?
Or is it something deeper? That is not our question to solve.
We should not dig and pry for the answers. Our job as the one who loves them is to offer the support they need. Give them their space when they ask for it. Listen to them when they ask and step back when they say they are done talking. And most of all tell them you love them. The worst feeling they could experience is that the one person they love does not show support, kindness, and willingness to listen.
If you feel that there is a deeper issue, it is not your job to force them into therapy. It is not your job to force them to see a doctor. It is not your job to involve other people. If you are concerned you may offer up these ideas in a tender way and show that seeking help is a good thing. Do not try to become their therapist. Do not try to fix their problems. Do not diagnose them with a mental health disorder. Leave it to the pros and show you are 100% behind them getting help.
In the end it is important to remember that sometimes we go through rough patches and sometimes it means a bit more. You are not the doctor or the therapist. You cannot be blamed for the issues. You can be the support team and guider to the greater options. You can support them getting help and you can support their growth through this tough time. You can be there for that person if it is just a rough patch.