Caring For A Loved One With Mental Illness

mental illness, caregiver, depression, bi-polar, panic disorder, anxiety, obessive compulsive disorder, depression

Clinical diagnosis for mental illness such as schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression can be difficult.  It is especially difficult when it is a loved one that is experiencing these conditions.

When a loved one has mental illness, family members can often feel emotions of embarrassment, anger, worry, self-blame or grief. Parents, specifically, can feel powerless over the disease and at a loss for what the best course of treatment for their child.

The focus becomes the person with mental illness, but studies have shown that it is just as important to maintain your own health while caring for a person with mental illness.

Some ways to maintain your health while being a caretaker are:

  • Maintain relationships with other family members
  • Seek professional support for yourself and your family
  • Participate in groups and family sessions with your loved one
  • Make time for yourself
  • Ask for help to lighten your responsibilities
  • Address one issue as a time to avoid burnout

As the caregiver, you are the tie that keeps everything together.  The more educated you are about the disease your loved one is facing and the time you set aside for yourself will be what helps you navigate the obstacles.

If your loved one has mental illness and you are seeking professional help as a caregiver, call the Mental Health Center at Flushing Hospital Medical Center at 718-670-5562 to schedule an appointment.

For more information for caring for a loved one with mental illness, visit American Phychological Association

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.