By Dr. Deepak Kelkar, Psychiatry
Mental disorders are a part and parcel of modern day life. You might have a friend, relative, family member or an acquaintance who suffers from some or the other mental symptom. People suffering from mental disorders might be different from you or from the majority of others, but they are there and need to be catered to. Dealing with patients of mental disorders can be really tough; a few guidelines can be of help to facilitate smooth and healthy interaction.
Tips to keep in mind while dealing with a patient with mental symptoms-
- Encouragement goes a long way- Encouraging a person with mental symptoms is extremely important. He or she might go through bouts of lowered self- confidence or insecurity. It is necessary to make them feel good about themselves while encouraging them to discover their talents.
- Do not impose yourself on him or her- A person with some mental disease may not always be requiring your help to make things happen. Even if they falter, they should be allowed to explore and figure out a solution. You must keep in mind that even a patient needs space and thus, it will be good on your part to stop intruding.
- Try to know more about the symptoms- Your efforts to support a person facing mental health issues might fall flat on their face if you are not well- aware of his or her situation. The best way to sort out complexities is to read more about the problem.
- Join hands with the clinical group treating the patient- Medical guidance can be of great help too. The course of action to be taken on part of friends and family can be best known and regulated when you work along with the team treating your dear one.
- Treat them equally, yet motivate them with hope- Patients with mental disorders hate being discriminated against. They hate being pitied. Thus, you should be conscious to treat them as equals while letting them know there’s hope for them to make it big in life
- Taking time out: It is common for the person with the mental illness to become the focus of family life. When this happens, other members of the family may feel ignored or resentful. Some may find it difficult to pursue their own interests.
If you are the caregiver, you need some time for yourself. Schedule time away to prevent becoming frustrated or angry. If you schedule time for yourself it will help you to keep things in perspective and you may have more patience and compassion for coping or helping your loved one. Being physically and emotionally healthy helps you to help others.
It is important to remember that there is hope for recovery and that with treatment many people with mental illness return to a productive and fulfilling life.