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Why get help when I’m not the one with the mental illness?

Because dealing with the effects of mental illness can be painful. While it may not always be difficult to share one’s life with a person with a mental illness, the consequences and repercussions of the illness can affect the lives of all those who share their world. It can also generate a range of emotions that can complicate daily life. What kind of emotions? Worry, guilt, frustration, disappointment, sadness, doubt, anxiety, etc. Sound familiar? It’s normal to feel this way. Not being able to fully understand the other person’s experience, dealing with frequent unpredictability, being hesitant to communicate because you don’t know how to deal with the other person, having difficulty setting and maintaining personal boundaries and feeling like you have to take on responsibilities that don’t belong to you can certainly be confusing. So, when asking why you should get help when you’re not the one with a mental illness, the answer is simple, because it helps you to find your own balance and feel better.

How can meeting with a care provider allow me to better help my family?

When you better understand a situation and the characteristics that define it, it becomes easier to adapt your reactions and behaviour to optimize communication. Meeting with a family dynamics specialist will give you a better understanding of the issues and provide you with the tools required to juggle all the challenges involved. These types of meetings often bring a new perspective to the situation and allow individuals to change the way they interact with their loved one, which ultimately allows them to acquire new skills.

Why should I speak to someone when I can easily find everything online?

Meeting with a counsellor versus finding information online means receiving answers, tools, perspectives and information that is specific to your situation. The web is a good resource, but the information you find may not be specific to your situation. How the same mental health disorder manifests in one family can be very different from how it manifests in another and depends on many factors. These factors include the personality of each person, the nature of the relationship between individuals, the duration and frequency of symptoms, the age of the individuals involved, etc. Obtaining personalized support takes into account all of these factors that the web cannot, due to the infinite number of possibilities. Likewise, meeting with a counsellor means being able to talk to someone confidentially, and that feels really good. That’s something that the web can’t offer.


Author : Gabrielle Brind’Amour, Director, L’Accolade Mental Health

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