How to Support a Loved One with Mental Illness?

by kidneycare40

In the present landscape, the need for spreading awareness around mental health is more than ever. 

According to NMHP, 6-7% of the Indian population suffers from mental disorders. It means that at least 84.3 million people in India have some form of mental illness. 

Luckily, more and more people are coming forward to talk about their condition and the stigma around it is reducing day by day. With this, comes the question on how to help loved ones with mental illness

Don’t worry because we have got your back. In this article, we share simple steps to support mental illness that are approved by the best psychologist in Delhi

Understand your loved one’s condition:

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The better you know about your loved ones health condition, the better you can treat them. 

Although the approach for each patient needs to be unique, basic knowledge about the disease condition can help you understand and manage the condition better. 

Some common signs and symptoms that you must look out for include – change in mood changes and behaviors, social withdrawal, abnormal thought pattern, etc. 

  1. Change in mood and behavior 

Having mood swings once in a while is normal. However, if the change in behavior and mood swings stays for too long, it is probably time to see Dr. Sonia Goel, the top psychologist in India. This is especially true if your close one shows more than one of the following symptoms:

  • Confusion and delusion 
  • Hallucination 
  • Extreme moods 
  • Disorganized speech 
  1. Social withdrawal 

Social withdrawal refers to avoiding people and activities that you normally enjoy. 

It is one of the initial signs of mental illness and typically arises when the patient thinks that no one understands what they are going through. If you feel your loved one withdrawing socially, check-in with them every once in a while as the risk of suicide is higher in such case. 

  1. Abnormally negative thoughts 

Negative thoughts manifest in the form of incorrect assumptions, over self-criticism, and sometimes even denial of reality. Needless to say, these effects can taint and distort our reality. 

We all have a small extent of fixation on negativity but when it comes to a mentally ill person, the negativity can seem unrealistic most of the time. If you feel that your loved one is trapped in the cycle of negative thoughts, the best option is to visit Dr. Sonia Goel, one of the experienced psychologists in India

Communicate with Your Loved One 

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One of the most important things that a person with mental illness wishes is to have someone who can empathize and genuinely understand what they are going through. 

If you create an environment full of criticism and hostility, it can overwhelm your loved ones and make the condition worse. 

Therefore, supporting loved ones with mental illness through a positive system is essential to help an individual overcome their illness. Instead of using negative narratives such as:

  • You can snap out of it, if you want 
  • Where there is a will, there’s a way 
  • We create our own destiny 
  • There’s nothing wrong with you, you are just over-thinking 
  • You should be grateful because things could have been worse 

Use positive narratives such as: 

  • If you want to share something, I’m here for you 
  • Do you want to share something?
  • How can I help you overcome this situation?
  • Have you tried yoga and meditation?
  • I’m sorry you feel this way. How can I help you go through this situation? 

Help them manage stress and anxiety 

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Schools taught us many important things in life but unfortunately, the curriculum rarely emphasized the importance of dealing with stress. 

Although occasional short-term stresses helps us develop resilience and motivates us to move forward, chronic stresses can impact the mental health of our loved ones. 

Unsurprisingly, this puts a lot of pressure on people with mental illness and they tend to lose their self-control.

We may not be able to change our situation but we can surely change the way we perceive them with some effort. 

Encourage your loved ones to accept the situation and take action, instead of letting them run in the opposite direction. In the long-term this will help the person develop more self-control.

Additionally, you must also try to introduce simple self-care habits such as mindfulness, exercise, and prioritizing relaxation can. 

Encourage them to seek professional help 

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The above-mentioned steps will help you support your loved ones the best way possible. However, it cannot replace the treatment that can be given by Dr. Sonia Goel, the best psychologist in Delhi. There are several benefits of approaching a psychologist in the long-term. They can:

  • Help you build better relationships
  • Smoothen your journey in healing from past traumas 
  • Teach you good coping strategies 
  • Help you boost your performance at work
  • Help you improve your quality of life


People with mental illness have higher risk of committing suicide. Therefore, it is essential for people to check-on their loved ones from time to time. 

If you spot the initial signs and symptoms of mental illness in your loved ones, urge them to book an appointment with Dr. Sonia Goel who offers the best online psychology counseling

Also, ensure that you avoid using wrong narratives and communicate with utmost empathy and understanding. Let your loved ones know that they can rely on you.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

  1. What are some things that I should not say to a person with mental illness?

Here are some narratives that you must avoid while talking to a person with mental illness:

  • “Things could have been worse, you know”
  • “You can snap out of it if you want to”
  • “It’s just a phase. It will pass soon.”
  • “But you seem so happy all the time” 
  • “People who commit suicide are so selfish” 
  1. How should I deal with a mentally unstable family member?

Dealing with a mentally unstable family member requires clear communication and honesty.

  1. What are some common signs of poor mental health?

Some common signs and symptoms that indicates poor mental health are as follows:

  • Unusual mood disorders 
  • Confusion and delirium 
  • Social withdrawal
  • Low energy and loss of interest
  1. What is one of the most difficult mental illnesses to live with?

One of the most difficult mental illnesses to live with is borderline personality disorder. 

  1. Can mental illness be cured?

There is no definite cure for mental illness. However, it can be managed with the help of medications, therapy, brain-stimulation treatments, etc.

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