10 Ways To Support A Emotionally Vulnerable Loved One/Friend
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Health and Wellness

10 Ways To Support A Emotionally Vulnerable Loved One/Friend

It's OK not to be OK.

10 Ways To Support A Emotionally Vulnerable Loved One/Friend
Drew Broffman

Disclaimer: I'm not a psychiatrist, these are just my thoughts. If you are feeling depressed or suicidal or need to talk to someone please contact the proper person here are the numbers.

This is not an easy topic to talk about for anyone. If you, yourself, don't suffer in anyway from your own, or someone's mental illness, you know someone who does suffer from there own or who is effected by someone else's. I personally have struggled with my own happiness and anxieties. And throughout all my experiences, there have been actions taken by others that truly helped me a lot. These 10 things are the most important things to do if you have a loved one who suffers from mental illness

1. Unconditional love

When it comes down to it, let the people you know suffering with mental illness know you will always love them. It's really simple and sometimes over-looked. It's really nice to just reiterate that to them. And follow through with it...don't tell them one day and the next get really angry if they don't seem like hanging out or they are not up to doing things. Take a breath and give them some time.

2. Compassion

Reach out to them. Show concern for there well-being. I'm not telling you to text them every morning and night checking in on them. But randomly if you are thinking of them check in. "Hey, hope your day is going well and life is not to hard today hang in there :)" A text like that could make someones day 10 times better.

3. Get educated.

Learn about their mental illness. If they are diagnosed, look it up and get yourself educated on the subject. And if they are not diagnosed, just be open with them. Try to talk to them and see if they are willing to open up to you about what they are going through, if it's deep sorrow, depression, or high anxiety and mania. In doing so, you can try your best to understand why they way they act.

4. Talk to them.

Bouncing off the ideas above, reach out to them and tell them you care and will always be there for them. But make sure they are not on the brink and unstable and are spilling their deepest, darkest thoughts to you because that is unhealthy and not healthy for you because then you feel very responsible for them. But being there for them is the best you can do.

5. Have realistic expectations.

You have to remember that people who suffer from mental illness don't always have the endurance or the energy to always go out and hang out. Going out to the mall or seeing people in the union can be mentally draining for someone who suffers from mental illness. I know that I can go hiking all weekend long and feel fully energized when I get back but when I'm down and out and when my friends try to get me to go out and hang its just exhausting. Just try to be realistic and know what? Maybe "realistic" isn't up to your reality when you're dealing with someone who is mentally ill.

6. Make sure you get some help.

As the friend who is helping someone through there mental illness, make sure you get some help as well. It takes a toll on you even if you don't realize. Really it does and I know you don't think it will but it really adds up. Also it's not your job to put the weight on that person shoulders on to yours as well. We all carry some weight but you don't need to carry any more than you need too. I'd suggest meeting with a professional once or twice just to talk about how you are doing and how your helping your friend

7. Let the person be in control.

I know you want to help them in every way possible and you try to help plan their day, or everything in-between. But please let them be in control. If they don't have control of what is going on around them...that is the worst feeling ever. As if you are just wandering through life running from one thing to another and your not feeling in control anymore that honestly sucks so bad.

8. Set limits.

This one also bounces off the ideas of the expectations one. But the difference is that here are limits for your friend. Don't be an enabler of there mental illness. These limits may be anything from drugs, drinking, or simply caffeine. Make sure they are staying within their limits and not pushing themselves too much. It honestly could be getting enough sleep and not staying up late every night. That can really mess with a mentally ill person's head.

9. It's OK not to be OK.

The concept of being "OK" and "not OK" are really odd ones. Remember to tell your friend it's OK not to be OK. It's a hard concept to grasp, but really think about it. To not be OK...to be depressed, to be anxiety ridden, or anything else. It's OK to like this. I know everyone thinks they have to be normal. But normal is not thing. Everyone has there own demons. Convey this message to them that their mental illness does not define them and it's OK to be this way.

10. Be calm and give good vibes.

Remember you are there friend and try to always be there for them the best you can and when they are venting to you about something very serious try and stay the calmest you can. If you get anxious or really worried, try to contain it. IF they are getting really deep and you are not comfortable with the conversation going in that direction, slow the pace down and direct it somewhere else, then bring it up later. At that point, it might be easier for them to talk to a professional about it. And, if they ask why, just simply tell them you know they could help them better than you could.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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