As someone who has both mental health issues and knows other people who are in the same situation, I think it is really important for there to be knowledge about how to help people who are struggling. However, I also believe it is extremely important to be kind to yourself during difficult times like this. Adulthood can be tough and undeniably difficult to know what to do, without causing harm to yourself.
In many circumstances, professionals are needed:
Sometimes, people need more support than just their friends and family; more professional help has to become involved. This does not mean you have failed as a loved one to the person, you just want them to be safe and to help them. The harsh reality is that mental illness cannot be cured completely and can be absolutely terrifying. The majority of you lovely lot that are reading this post are not health professionals and that is completely okay. If you feel that immediate help or a GP needs to be contacted because you think the person is at risk, you have every right to do so. It is better to contact someone than to risk the situation becoming uncontrollable. At the end of this post, I have linked useful links that you can contact if you are worried!
Try not to blame yourself:
When you are connected with someone who is mentally unwell, it can feel like you are responsible for that person and any relapse that occurs. Many of us can forget that mental illness is vicious and can make anyone feel like they are isolated and drowning at any time; sometimes there are no warning signs. As a loved one; you are doing the best you can and I am sure that the person you are looking out for really appreciates that. It is important to realise that things can happen and if they do, please do not blame yourself because you cannot solve everything!
On that note, there is nothing wrong with taking a step back:
As I mentioned briefly at the start of the post, I have been on both side of the coin regarding mental health. Through my personal experience, I have learnt it is important to take a step back sometimes and look after yourself. Of course you want to be there for the person because you care and do not want them to suffer, but how can you do that fully if you do not look after your own mental health? Taking a step back from the situation allows you to give yourself self-care and love; it also gives you time to think about if you can go back in that situation and/or if you need to get a professional/someone else involved. There is nothing wrong in doing so. Allow yourself to have your own space.
I found this quite a complicated post to write because I personally find it really difficult to take myself away from situations and people, when I know it is having a negative effect on me. But hey, maybe this will be a learning curb for both me and everyone reading this!
If you are concerned about someone or yourself, here is some important information to be aware of:
Call 999 if you are in need of immediate help.
Call 111 for non-emergency help.
Hope this post has been of help or of interest to y’all.