Think about those in your life who are important to you in some way. They could be your friends, family members, your partner, or your colleagues. Now consider that at any given time, any of them could be struggling with some sort of mental health issue.
In fact, 1 in 5 people are living with a mental health condition that can sometimes or often cause disruption in their daily lives. It’s also common for those who struggle with a mental health disorder to simultaneously have problems with substance use, or have co-occurring disorders like sex addiction or a gambling addiction.
You may have seen signs of them struggling, or they may have reached out to you directly in order to get advice or help, but perhaps you weren’t sure how to help them or where to start.
While they will most likely need to seek professional help from a doctor, psychologist, rehabilitation facility, or a sex addiction therapist like Sex Addiction Houston in order to heal properly and move on, you can still be there for them on their healing journey and offer your support.
Here are the best ways you can help a friend or loved one in need~
One of the most important things to remember is to remain calm. It can be troubling to recognize that someone close to you needs help, and it can be overwhelming to help them through it, but your stability will be a guiding light for them.
If they’re panicking and aren’t sure where to turn, you need to be calm and reassuring rather than panicked as well, since that will only make matters worse. Consider how they’re feeling, what they could be thinking, and what you’re feeling and thinking. It may help to write them down in order to better understand and take a step back before acting.
You don’t need to become an expert, because there’s too much to know and learn when it comes to mental health and addiction issues, but it is good to know the signs and symptoms that your loved one is experiencing. Also, knowing more about the condition they’re struggling with can help you be more empathetic and offer better help.
Listen to them
Often, having a shoulder to cry on and an ear to talk to can make a huge difference. You can be there for your friend or loved one by truly listening to them and caring about their experience. Try your best not to compare them to another person’s experience, including your own, but rather actively listen and be present if they need someone to talk to.
Be supportive, but set boundaries
One of the best ways to be helpful is to ask the person how you can help, or what they need right now. You want to try your best to be supportive, so asking them how you can do that gives them the strength and empowers them to take control over their recovery.
However, it’s also important to set some boundaries. Offering to help someone in need shows you’re a caring person, and often those that care end up neglecting themselves in the process.
Practicing self-care is crucial because if you aren’t taken care of, it’s much more difficult to help someone else. You can be there for your loved one, but remember to take care of yourself too.