Lifestyle

How to Help Someone Deal With Mental Illness

Because friends who are supportive and understanding can make all the difference in another friend's mental health recovery process.

Society often misunderstands people with mental illness because recognizing its symptoms can be quite difficult. They are often characterized only as intense personality traits or confused as mood swings. There are a lot of false information circulating and stereotypes formulated about mental health issues. This is one of the reasons why many people respond negatively or dismissively regarding mental health.

Friends who are supportive and understanding can make all the difference in another friend's mental health recovery process. If you're uncertain on how to react or what to do around someone who looks or claims to be suffering from a mental disorder, these might help:

  1. Educate yourself!

Research, research, research! There's no better way to help someone deal with mental issues than by understanding it yourself—be aware of its nature and symptoms. Know that there are various professional treatments made available nowadays that can help treat and overcome mental disorders. Also, find out what you can personally do to help and support them.

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  1. Don't offer trivial solutions.

It's important to know that people with mental illness cannot just "snap out of it," so please don't tell them to. It may come out as insensitive and can trigger certain behaviors. It's not your job to save and heal them because you can't, even if you think you can. Think of mental illness as broken limbs, it will heal with the right treatment and through time with love, help, and support from the people around them.

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  1. Be patient.

Whether it's depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or obsessive compulsive disorder—it's inevitable that their mental illness will take over and manifest itself in their treatment of you. They may hurt your feelings indirectly through their distress or by lashing out on you on purpose, but retaliating with the same hurtful things or words will not help and may only make matters worse. Instead, ask them what you can do to help.

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  1. Take them seriously.

Please, please, please do not dismiss their concerns. Let them know you're always there to listen and that they should not feel bad about communicating their mental health needs because it is nothing to be ashamed of. Mental illness is individualized and it affects many people for different reasons or, sometimes, for no reason at all. Not everyone goes through what they're experiencing.

  1. Love them through actions, not just through words.

"Actions are more powerful than words." This quote holds truth in any situation. Different people perceive love differently. Sitting in silence, holding each other or just letting them cry on your shoulder can mean a lot to them. Love them even if they're at their worst. They are not their mental illness, so treat them as such.

  1. Take care of yourself.

For you to help others deal with issues about their mental health, you should also look after your own well-being. It can sometimes be stressful and overwhelming to respond to the mental health needs of people you care about because of unavoidable conflicts. This is why it's of utmost importance to love and take care of yourself first before you can take care of someone else. You will need to make simple to great sacrifices for the person you care about...but it'll all be worth it.

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What other mental health issues would you like us to talk about?

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About the author
Karla Denisse Cortez
Candymag.com Correspondent
Karla's all about trying new trends and going on adventures. She spends most of her time online, writing, binge-watching and obsessing over something.
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Bulletin
A community page where you can share your feels and show your skills! Learn more here

"Today, I Won"

I always caught feelings for someone, and hoped so much that one day there could a thing between the two of us. I'm usually the one that makes the effort to buy and/or make cute gifts, chats them every other day, and stays up all night with him.

When I was 16, my childhood crush suddenly came back into my life. We'd constantly send updates to each other, recommend favorite songs and talk even the most random things. He'd even text me as early as 6 to just greet me good morning almost everyday. I hoped so much that when I confessed, he suddenly stopped talking to me.

For short, he ghosted me. Those 6 months I spent talking to him, allotting my time for him, and staying up until 3 am for him - all gone in a simple confession. Although I had a few crushes before him, he's the only one that got me in real pain. It was the kind of pain that I never thought I'd experience. It was the kind of pain that I couldn't believe.

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After 7 years (it happened back in 2017), I thought he came back into my life to stay, but I guess he's just one of the guys who distanced. I felt a complete loser that time. But during this quarantine, everything was different. I caught feelings for someone else, but he treated me with the best kindness yet.

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It happened at 2 am, May 30, 2020, when I impulsively confessed my feelings through messaging him. After saying my feelings, he responded with genuine and kind words. We both even complimented each other. Although the feelings didn't reciprocate, I still found a connection that can't be replaced with any guy.

To my 16 year old self, here I am, 18 and happy. You may have felt that time was the biggest regret and loss, but I'm here to tell you, we won. Today, I won.

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Juliana Rebong 6 hours ago

Why our high school barkada is the best?

Remembering our high school years entails quite a lot reminiscing of the things we all been through when we were younger. You’ve experience a lot of new things during those 4 wonderful years and did most of them with the few people you consider your barkada. And through a series of all the lunch breaks you had together, the walks you took on the way home, and taking the same classes, you never thought you’d survive, you have made your life’s greatest friends.

Here are some of the reasons why your high school barkada is the best:

1. You figured out early teenage life together. The transition one have undergone from being a kid to a teenager wasn’t easy. For a moment you are not sure whether you should have played with your friends during recess or you should have just sat down and ate your food because you were too old for games. But whatever it is you chose to do, having friends who were as clueless as you make everything feel easier because you know, deep down, you’d figure things out eventually. You just need good company.

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2. They were with you during your “jeje“ days. I bet you have pictures taken with Camera360 and Retrica. You also have pictures edited using Pizap with embarrassing captions and you somehow kept some of them so you could have something to post online during their birthdays.

3. They know all your exes. They will never EVER forget the name of an ex-boyfriend, an ex-fling, an ex-crush, and an almost you had. They will remind you of your every questionable love decision but you’ll just laugh anyway while saying “Past is past”.

4. They never judge you. They have welcomed you to their lives when you thought jelly shoes and checkered polos were the bomb! They were quick to have told your teachers that you were not feeling well so you could go home when you really just needed to poop. You tell them every embarrassing story you have and were fine with it.

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5. You can always count on them. From the moment you first fell in love and the moment you first had your heart broken, they were with you. They were with you the moment you lost a parent and at moments when you thought you had nothing. Through every break-up and breakthrough, they were there to be your support system.

6. They are your family. Your high school friend’s family is your own family’s extension. Their parents are like your own. Don’t you feel a little kilig whenever your friend’s parents call you “anak”? And then eventually calling them mama and papa became so natural? I felt that, all the time.

7. They will always be your home. They are your place of refuge and security, the place who offers you their hands when you feel lost and the place you run to when you need saving. No matter how much time and distance separate you, they will be the one’s that you always long for and they are the one’s that you will always return to.

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