The Importance of Family Support in Mental Health Recovery

People are born into a family. However, not all family members are supportive. If you’re battling a mental health problem and feeling distant from your kin, find individuals who are dedicated to loving and supporting you. Family transcends bloodlines.

Social support is an essential element that can affect mental health. When you feel down and gloomy, you need people who can help you rack your brain to realize how blessed and valuable you are.

You may spend time doing activities to distract you, like interacting with others using social media or online gaming. Sometimes, simply catching up on your favorite team to relax and take your mind off things that cause you stress. You can check out this article for tips on mindful meditation.

While some activities may be a great pastime, family support is still essential during your treatment and recovery process. According to an article by the Mental Health First Aid USA, having a healthy support system of people you trust and respect contributes to recovery.

Self-Stigma: A Barrier to Recovery

A study about mental health stigma stated that while the public may accept a mental health disorder’s medical and genetic nature, prejudice and discrimination against people with such a condition are still a problem.

Aside from the public stigma, the internalized shame that people with mental health illnesses have regarding their condition may hinder their recovery.

A review from the Psychiatry Research hypothesized that self-stigma could negatively affect recovery among individuals diagnosed with severe mental illness.

Self-stigma may lower someone’s self-esteem and reduce one’s hope. For this reason, individuals with mental health issues need to muster the courage to open up about their struggles.

Social Support and Mental Health Recovery

Sharing how you feel can make a massive difference in your recovery. However, if you’re indisposed, it can be a struggle to take the needed steps to help yourself get better.

When you’re dealing with mental health, it’s vital not to go through it alone. If you want to receive healing, you need to help yourself and let other people help you, too.

A study from the Journal of Social Work in Disability and Rehabilitation reported that most individuals with severe mental illnesses said their families were their primary source of strength.

But what if your relationship with your kin is strained? Will you be able to get help? As mentioned earlier, a family is not always biological.

Your family can be a friend or someone you can turn to for support. These are the people who will listen to you, encourage you, and even arrange treatment for you.

Opening Up About Mental Health Issues

Even thinking about initiating a conversation with a person they trust can be overwhelming for individuals struggling with mental health issues.

If you feel the same way, below are a few recommendations for how you can open up about your mental health problems to the people you care and trust:

Choose the Right Person

It’s essential to choose someone who will not judge you. Think about a person who has been there for you in the past. That someone could be your parents, partner, best friend, siblings, or coworkers.

Preparation Is Key 

It’s understandable to feel nervous about starting a conversation regarding your mental health, so take your time.

When you’re ready, make sure to find a place where you can have privacy with that person and then be sincere about how your mental health condition has affected you.

Do Not Disclose Everything at Once

It may take time for your loved ones or someone you’re close with to come to terms with what you are about to tell them. So make sure not to tell everything at once.

Know that what you will share may either shock or upset them, so make sure only to share details you’re comfortable with and try to have patience with them.

Tell Them How They Can Help

Let your loved ones know of the specific and concrete ways they can help you. Perhaps they can accompany you to a counselor for some support.

Developing a Recovery Plan

Recovery is characterized by change through which people improve their overall health and wellness by living a self-directed life.

There are four dimensions of recovery:

 

  1. Health
  2. Home
  3. Purpose
  4. Community

 

Developing a written recovery plan will help you identify goals for achieving your full potential. You may include your daily activities and longer-term goals, as well as the steps you can take to reach those goals.

Writing about stressful events or triggers that can probably worsen your condition would be best. If you’re aware of your triggers, you’ll learn to manage them effectively.

Lastly, make sure to track any changes in your mental health condition.

Getting Professional Help

All kinds of trauma happen to people, and it causes hearts to be broken. However, the support of friends, family members, partners, or even coworkers is essential to help people with mental health problems get back on track.

Unfortunately, individuals with mental health problems don’t get the help they need because they don’t know where to start.

Talking with your primary healthcare provider about your mental health struggles is crucial. They can give you the proper guidance you need and even connect you with mental health professionals who can assist you in your recovery.

There are various hotlines you can contact for questions regarding mental health, including:

 

  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): 1-800-950-6264, info@nami.org
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): (800) 662-4357
  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): (866) 615-6464
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

 

References

  1. The Correlation Of Social Support With Mental Health: A Meta-Analysis

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5633215/

 

2. Importance of Having a Support System

https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/2020/08/the-importance-of-having-a-support-system/

 

3.The Health Crisis Of Mental Health Stigma

https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S0140-6736%2816%2900687-5

 

4.The Impact Of Illness Identity On Recovery From Severe Mental Illness: A Review Of The Evidence

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32361335/

 

5.“Who Believes Most in Me and in My Recovery”: The Importance of Families for Persons With Serious Mental Illness Living in Structured Community Housing

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4835237/

 

6.Get Immediate Help

https://www.mentalhealth.gov/get-help/immediate-help

 

7.Recovery Is Possible

https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/recovery-possible

Mandy Kloppers
Author: Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.

1 Comment

  1. A lovely and succinct article, which, when you think about it, is essential for readers who might be distressed and have disorganised thinking. It reminds me of how my girlfriend’s family supported me when my mother passed away. Their sensitivity made me feel fully accepted and valuable, which helped make this challenging time easier.

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Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.

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