Loving Someone with a Mental Illness – Part 1

Heart in HandsDoes someone you love struggle with a mental illness? Chances are that you struggle too. Follow our four-part blog to help you learn whether your words and actions are helping or hurting your situation.

Vigilance versus faith

You may find yourself monitoring your loved one’s behavior, looking for indications that things might be getting worse. You study their mood, their walk, or you sniff their breath and clothing for smells of alcohol. You want to be informed if they are relapsing, and you want to be prepared if chaos is coming.  This is perfectly reasonable, right?

But what if your monitoring is so intense that it is ruining your day or consuming your whole mind? You might be neglecting your own needs or the needs of other family members. This, of course, isn’t helping anyone.

And what if your monitoring is troubling to your loved one? They might feel like they’re constantly under a microscope. If that is the case, you’re attributing to the issue. Your monitoring is diverting your loved one’s attention away from working on the mental health concern and towards defending themselves from your prying.

Try to find faith in the strength of your loved one. Help them grow and evolve by looking instead for signs of improvement and progress. Monitor your own monitoring! Your stress levels, and those of you loved ones, will thank you for it.

About Beth Rogers-Doll PhD

Beth graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology, is Board-Certified in Psychology and works at Doll & Associates. She works with adolescents, adults, families and couples utilizing a cognitive-behavioral and family systems approach. Areas of expertise include anxiety disorders (Panic, OCD, PTSD, and other trauma-related problems), depression, self-injury, eating disorders, trichotillomania (hair pulling) and marital distress. Also trained in executive coaching and career development, she helps professionals achieve their full potential.

, , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: