How to Help a Troubled Friend or Relative

Is a friend or loved one depressed and struggling to keep up with the demands of daily life? Do they have a history of emotional and/or mental instability, as well as a proclivity to express bizarre ideas? It is difficult when you don’t know how to help because you are trying to figure out what is causing the problem.

Utilize these methods to effectively communicate with them and gain valuable insight into their needs in order to improve their overall quality of life and wellbeing.

Method 1 Mental Health Improvement

1. Inform them of the various techniques available to assist those who are not reasonably happy or productive, and that it is possible to overcome such issues with the assistance of a trained professional:

Difficulty holding onto reasonable goals and ideals

Trouble with controlling anger

Memory and concentration lapses

Career obstacles

Struggles with enjoying everyday life, recreational activities and finding satisfaction and serenity (peace of mind).

2. Improve your mental health as a worthwhile endeavour that will enhance your values, positive character traits, and ability to adjust to life; in other words, support what life has to offer.

3. Realize that one can live a fuller and more creative life, and that one can improve mental strength by being more flexible, rather than snapping under pressure, in order to better cope with challenges.

Method 2 Non direct counseling

1. Understand that psychotherapy is commonly referred to as “non-directed therapy” because it does not directly intervene in a person’s fundamental thinking, but rather investigates and gradually leads patients toward discovering the causes of their problems and new ways to deal with them. It is not a true intervention because the therapist does not interfere in a visible manner.

2. Examine psychotherapy as it is practised by certified/licensed professionals with a variety of qualifications and training, including but not limited to:

Marriage and family counselors

Licensed clinical social workers

School, college and other institutional counselors

Psychologists using various psychoanalytical procedures

Psychiatric nurses working with or without a physician, and

Certified psychiatrists

3. Realize that different psychotherapists may employ differing techniques like:

Group or individual counselling

Spoken conversation, dialog, narrative story

The written word, writing answers

Artwork, drama or music

Suggestion and hypnosis

4. It is important to recognise that each individual’s technique will differ depending on their previous experience with them in order to establish an accepting, affirming relationship that leads to guidance through dialogue — one-on-one communication or a group to gradually affect behavioural change — that is intended to improve the mental health of a client or patient, or to improve group relationships (such as teamwork, relating in a family, peer relationships at school and at work, etc.).

Method 3 Visiting And Talking To A Therapist

1. At first, your friend may be apprehensive about consulting with a professional counsellor. Prepare yourself by assuring them that there is nothing wrong with them for feeling the way they do. Being introduced to someone for the first time frequently results in fearful reactions and is a form of stress – and stress in general can cause one to become anxious, forgetful, and foggy in their thinking.

Explain that, as with any new experience, it will take time for them to become accustomed to therapy, but encourage them to try it out for the first few sessions to see how it goes. Encourage them to ask the therapist any questions they may have about the initial phase of the process. This will almost certainly put them at ease while also empowering them.

Explain that if at any point during the therapy they feel uncomfortable with the therapist, for any reason or at any stage, they can switch to another therapist at no additional cost to them. They will not feel trapped or obligated if they realise that this is their legal right.

2. Pay close attention and actively participate in order to determine how you can best support the therapy:

Make certain that you understand everything that is said in regards to prescriptions, therapy, and other such matters.

In order to avoid misunderstandings, ask the appropriate questions.

Even if you think you have a good memory, take notes, get a printout, or ask for literature about your character.

Method 4 Disturbance in needs

1. Examine how brain scans reveal activity in areas associated with strong emotions, needs, and feelings such as dissatisfaction, addictions, and longings, among other things. In fact, studies have found that brain scans of people who are infatuated by love are very similar to brain scans of people who suffer from mental illness; thus, emotions, desires, and physiological responses appear to be primarily neurobiological in origin.

Andrew Newberg, M.D. is an Associate Professor of Radiology and Psychiatry in the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the development of neurotransmitter tracers for the evaluation of religiosity and neurological and psychiatric disorders such as clinical depression, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. He is a well-known researcher in the field of nuclear medicine brain imaging.

2. Consider that the areas of the brain that are active during infatuation and mental illness are very similar to the areas of the brain that are active during hunger, thirst, and drug addiction (like pressures caused by needs). As a result, is there a neurological basis for the disruption of individual reactions such as feeling unsuccessful in important areas that are required for one’s own personal success, satisfaction, and self fulfilment?

Method 5 How to Start

1. Make every effort to assist and demonstrate concern while remaining non-judgmental and friendly. Empathize.

2. Encourage them to recognise that they can seek treatment and education in order to improve and increase their achievement. The likelihood of them attempting something increases if they believe that they can achieve new levels of happiness and health and that anyone (even if they do not have a diagnosable illness) can grow.

3. Keep your identity hidden from prying eyes. It is essential to maintain an enjoyable relationship with them, and mutual trust is a key to accomplishing this goal. Never repeat or spread personal information that has been shared with you by another person.

Method 6 Seek a diagnosis

1. Counseling and psychological advice can be obtained from psychological professionals such as doctors, clinics, and school counsellors, among others. If it is deemed appropriate, include the parents in the process.

2. Learn more about getting help by conducting research: contact your state or county mental health agency, as well as other websites. Online research can also be beneficial.

Consider doing your research online, visiting your local library, or purchasing printed materials. Courses in general psychology will introduce students to fundamental terminology and concepts, but they will primarily focus on mental disorders. If you are not well-versed in general psychological terms and concepts, you may find it difficult to follow along with abnormal psychology courses.

Method 7 If There Is A Diagnosis

1. If at all possible, find out about any psychological diagnoses and treatments that they may be receiving from a professional. The person’s spouse, close relative, or partner may be able to communicate with the mental health professional who is providing the treatment and learn how to best support the treatments being provided.

2. Assist with keeping track of counselling appointments and remembering to take prescription medications. It is critical that you do not miss any medication or therapy sessions.

3. As an example, encourage them to stay on schedule and investigate the reasons why they failed to take medication as prescribed:

Ask about undesirable side effects, and

Whether or not it is helping them to feel better, or

Does it have negative side effects, and if so, help them consult with their psychological professional.

4. Stay away from people who are unstable, angry, or threatening, and seek professional assistance. They will direct you in the direction of the most appropriate course of action.

Method 8 Understanding The Training of Psychologists and Psychiatrists

1. Take into consideration all aspects of one’s life. Be aware that the American Psychological Association explicitly states that social, religious, and faith areas must be respected and considered important in the field of psychology. The American Psychiatric Association also mandates that psychiatrists receive training in spiritual and religious matters, which includes the following topics:

Meditation and prayer may be beneficial in the emotional, mental, and physical realms because they provide relief and have an impact on areas such as belief and behaviour.

Work and leisure — professional and recreational activities that have an impact on all aspects of one’s life, including social, cultural, physical, and educational development and progress, and which can have an impact on all aspects of one’s mental health.

Friendship is defined as a relationship characterised by mutual esteem, loyalty, affection, respect, and the ability to “be there” in times of need or crisis. Their similar tastes and interests usually allow them to share fun activities, hardships, and the values of one another’s advice because they have similar tastes and interests. It is defined as affection and feelings of certain levels of intimacy that are not accompanied by passionate, physiological arousal. Compassionate love (friendship) can be defined as

Love is an emotional attachment characterised by a combination of intimacy (sharing), commitment (permanence and persistence), and various types of caring and passion, as demonstrated in both familial and romantic love relationships.

Love that is passionate is characterised by intense longing and is frequently accompanied by physiological arousal (shortness of breath, rapid heart rate). It is also possible that mental stress, fear, and abnormal behaviour are accompanied by emotional and physiological arousal.

Self-direction — becoming self-actualized in order to discover one’s place and calling in life while continuing to learn, while serving and helping others, and even competing with others throughout all phases and stages of life is essential. It is possible to make progress and feel a sense of accomplishment. Success is contagious; once you experience it, you’ll want more of it…

2. Assist them in adjusting to the responsibilities and stresses of everyday life: Myers, Sweeny, and Witmer addressed twelve sub-tasks that needed to be improved in a publication by the American Counseling Association, and they describe these areas in which to be better adjusted in one’s personal life by having better understandings in:

Sense of worth — good attitude,

Sense of control — can do spirit,

Realistic beliefs — not bizarre,

Emotional awareness and coping — responsive,

Problem solving and creativity — proactive,

Sense of humor — rather than being fatalistic or cynical,

Nutrition — sufficient amounts with balanced choices of foods,

Exercise — maintaining physical well-being,

Self care — presenting oneself well,

Stress management — being balanced, positive and active as possible,

Gender identity — self acceptance,

Cultural identity — know oneself.

3. Assistance in learning different techniques to improve one’s own life and becoming more calm and collected can be provided by you or a loved one.

Take into consideration their essence and spirituality as it relates to their personality and identity — Many mental health professionals recognise the importance of respecting people’s religious beliefs and personal spiritual beliefs.

If you want to understand “God being here to stay,” consider some science opinions on psychological or spiritual nature or life, such as those discussed in Newberg and Aquili’s 2002 book Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief. Even if you are not religious, consider some science opinions on “God being here to stay.”

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