Helping a Loved One Seek Treatment

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If you have a loved one who is going through a difficult time and needs therapy, it can be incredibly difficult to know how to go about helping. With mental health concerns affecting as many as one in four adults and one in ten children, access to effective care is essential. The good news is that therapy has a high success rate; unfortunately, only about one out of three people seek help for themselves.

If you love someone who is experiencing psychological distress and needs support and assistance beyond what you can provide, the tips listed below can help you identify when its time to seek professional help.

Signs That A Loved One Needs Help

No Longer Doing What They Enjoy

If your loved one used to look forward to attending a child’s soccer game, or going out to dinner on the weekends, and now shows apprehension, this may be a sign that they are in need of help.

Expressing Feelings Of Hopelessness

If your loved one is frequently expressing negative emotions, it’s important to listen. Don’t downplay the significance, even if you don’t understand where they are coming from.

Neglecting Tasks

If you notice a loved one is struggling with everyday tasks, such as cleaning the house, food shopping or walking the dog, this may be a sign that they are suffering from mental health issues and are in need of professional help.

Changes in Appearance

Changes in weight and appearance, including negligence of personal hygiene are often signs of mental health distress.

Excessive Isolation

Withdrawal from social relationships and activities is often a sign of mental health distress.

“How Do I Help?”

“How Do I Help?”

When trying to convince someone to seek assistance, it is essential to come from a position of compassion and understanding. If you sound accusatory or angry, your loved one may become defensive and/or shut down . Once this happens, it is nearly impossible to have a productive conversation, and the person may become opposed to seeking treatment at all. Using positive statements to show you’re concerned is a good way to let your loved one know that you’re on their side and are trying to act on their behalf. Shaming them rarely works although setting healthy boundaries is often necessary. Make it clear that in order for your relationship to continue in a positive way, your loved one must seek help in an attempt to get better. Never enable them by making excuses for their behavior, or encouraging them to continue neglecting themselves. Sometimes, taking the first step, and getting information on therapists or treatment options can be helpful for the person who is struggling. This prevents the task from seeming overwhelming and also displays your willingness to help.

About The Author

Adam Rich, Substance Abuse Counselor

Adam is a recovering addict and alcoholic who has dedicated his life to helping those who have shared his past struggles.  Adam received a Bachelors degree from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Tx and has spent the last 5 years working in the mental health field. Working with at-risk youth through theatre and art as therapy, Adam gained the valuable experience with tailoring groups to meet the learning styles of each individual participant.

His training and experience come from a broad spectrum of therapies including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Experiential Therapy, Relapse Prevention, Addiction Education, and particular focus on the Development of the Sense of Self.