It sucks to see people you love go through challenging times. Especially when their situation is something you could not obviously tell like mental illness. Mental illness is no joke. It is a serious sickness that should not be taken lightly as it could save lives.
Like any other sicknesses, ones that are affecting your mental state needs extra care and love. But how do we help a friend going through this illness if we can’t point it out?
Even if you could not see what your friend is going through, it does not mean that you are powerless to help them out. Here is a list of things you could do to aid your dear friend who is in a mental crisis.
1. Identify the illness
First things first, you need to identify the problem at hand. Sometimes it is obvious to see the change but most of the time, it is not. Either way, look for signs that could lead to mental problems. See how they respond to a simple casual question, observe their eating habits, check in on their social life; the little things that they do or stop doing counts. Some people take it to the extreme and harm themselves by cutting or burning their arms. Therefore, be aware if they suddenly wear long sleeves to cover up the self-harming effects.
This is probably the simplest yet most crucial way you could help your friend out. Sometimes, all they want to do is talk to someone about their problems they are going through. So, allow them to do so openly without any interruptions or judgements. It is important to resist from giving out advices because as helpful as it sounds, that is the last thing they need. Just be quiet for a moment and let them pour out their feelings.
3. Stay in touch
Listening alone is not enough. You have to let them know that you will be there for her/him at all times. Do not avoid them even if it is via text messages because you might lose their trust and add more problems to their already unstable mind. Invite them to gatherings or social events or a homely dinner so that they feel appreciated and included in things.
4. Get professional help
When dealing with a friend who is suffering with mental illness, there may be times where things get a little bit unmanageable. If that happens, it is time to get professional help who is more experienced about this subject than you are.
Mental illness is a serious matter and has to be fought in however way we can. How would you help your friend if you found out that he/she is going through hardships? Let us know at the comments section below.