Wonderful advice, isn’t it?

it tells you exactly what to do with a loved one

when they are in a state of mental turmoil

or any other situation

 

(I’ve even used this expression myself)

 

but what does it mean?  how can you ‘be there’?

 

There are two side to mental wealth

one is the person that is suffering

and the other are the ones that are trying to help

both feel lost and confused and scared…

 

There is no magical answer here

the reality is that if someone is in deep

they won’t be able to snap out of it

and there is very little you can do

 

so the first step for you is to realise that

just like someone fighting cancer

you can be there for them

but you can’t cure them

 

the next step would be to ensure they

are getting professional help

go with them if they need you to

and keep track of appointments they have

remind them the night before

and check in afterwards

 

I know it’s frustrating

and you feel helpless but nature has to

take its course

 

(this will become clearer when I cover meds)

 

I can however give you a few tips

of things that helped me

the things that others did that kept me going

 

it may be useful to you

it may not

(as I don’t know what you are dealing with)

 

but at least you can feel you are doing SOMETHING

In no particular order

 

Establish some ground rules

just because they are ill does not mean

they can disregard your feelings

my sister liked me to text her when I got up

and around bedtime so she knew I was ok

(at times I couldn’t speak on the phone)

my neighbour across the road liked me to

open my curtains in the morning

and close them at night

if I failed to do this they both had keys to get in

strangely this process helped me too

as it narrowed my window of opportunity

to do something silly

 

Give them a notepad and pen

I loved writing about what was in my head

I usually burned or shredded it later

but I could tell the notepad anything

I found it hard to communicate when I was

being assessed

words don’t come out right

and you forget important parts

So I wrote the doctor a letter

and posted it to him

it sped up the process and I was diagnosed

and medicated months earlier than I would have been

they could also write you a letter…

 

Don’t ask them out for a drink

Alcohol is a depressant (unprescribed drugs too)

ask where they feel comfortable

do they want to go for a drive?

or just sit at home

Don’t pressure them to speak if they are quiet

just sit with them, watch a film or read

you don’t need to do something ‘brilliant’

you’re not trying to cheer them up

just make them feel less alone

 

Learn about what they are going through

The NHS has good information

google depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia

(if they have a diagnosis)

not so much the symptoms or what to do

but the science bits so you can understand

what is happening to them

I will be breaking down the known conditions

the medications

and what is going on in the brain

in future posts to help you

 

Look after them

Does their house need cleaned?

When did they last wash or eat?

there may be resistance to this

so you may have to be crafty

Don’t make a big deal of it

just drop in with some food and leave it in the kitchen

they will find it later and eat it

run them a bath and while they are in there

change the bed and find clean clothes

then stick a washing on 🙂

If I was asked, I would say NO!

but if it was just done for me with no suggestion

I wouldn’t put up a fight

and who doesn’t love getting in a clean bed

taking the bin out, bringing some shopping

feeding the cat, taking the dog out

it could be anything

 

Be available around the 24 hour clock

you can’t say call me anytime

and then ignore a phone call at 2am

once everyone has gone to bed the world

can change to a scary and lonely place

add to that time and reality become a bit blurred

and you can’t control what time you freak out at

If you can’t make it to them

keep them on the phone and talk until the

moment has passed

hearing your voice may be all they need

or call the NHS helpline

they will put you through to the Mental Health team

and they can send a nurse or doctor out

if needs be

 

I hope this helps a little

Carolyne xx


Carolyne
Carolyne

Carolyne is the owner of Fit Strong Females with a Studio in Glasgow City Centre and an Online Membership Site, with 18 years experience. She is also a Fitness, Success and Food Blogger, Author and Writer. You can contact her at carolyne@fitstrongfemales.com or find more information at fitstrongfemales.com 

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