Helping a Loved One
Dealing with a loved one with a mental health disorder is profoundly difficult, painful, and disruptive and often involves years of suffering for everyone involved. Family and loved ones experience almost every emotion, from frustration, to helplessness, confusion, vulnerability, anxiety, and heartbreak. Mental illness strains every relationship and leaves in its wake devastating emotional distress for all.
We understand that family members most often do not know how or where to find help for their loved ones.
We can help you.
We will support, educate, and guide you through the process of obtaining the help and treatment that everyone needs, not just the veteran suffering from mental illness.
Contact us today – our understanding and supportive veteran experts will take all the time needed to answer every question you have and provide invaluable information and direction as to starting the healing process for all. The staff at our Veterans Mental Health Treatment Center are standing by and ready to help.
Family practices to optimize treatment of a loved one
The following are some guidelines for family members to support their veteran once she or he is receiving treatment:
- Avoid rescuing. Not every veteran reacts favorably to receiving treatment initially. She or he may interpret this as abandonment and may become resentful, angry, and hurt. In an understandable effort ‘rescue’ the veteran, it can be tempting to discharge a loved one early from treatment. We strongly advise against doing so, which would defeat the entire process. Veterans usually acclimate quickly to their treatment environment and settle in well.
- Set and hold boundaries. Receiving treatment is an intense, emotional process involving facing and dealing with difficult and painful issues and fears. As a result, patients react with demands, threats, or other similar behaviors toward family and loved ones. When this happens, it may be tempting to give in to these demands. However, the most beneficial response is to set and hold boundaries, which will help everyone involved and prevent the continuation or development of unhealthy behaviors and relationship dynamics. Family members should always also direct their loved one to communicate with her or his primary therapist about all of his or her feelings, challenges, and issues.
- Be patient with the process. The therapeutic process is not easy. For many, it often triggers the desire to return to old self-destructive behaviors, which feel familiar and safe. Family members may take this as a sign that treatment is not working and may be tempted to discharge their loved one from the treatment program. However, these feelings veterans experiences are a normal part of the recovery process. For the most successful outcome, veterans need to abide by the advised treatment plan and advise treatment duration, which is created by an entire team of medical and clinical experts.
- Don’t take blame. During therapy, patients explore their formative experiences, sub-conscious thoughts, and many other life influences in order to get to the root of their mental health disorder. This process is often difficult and highly emotional, and patients may lash out at loved ones and blame them for any and everything. This can be an acutely painful experience for family members who have done nothing but love and support their loved one over his or her entire life. Feelings of guilt or responsibility are commonly experienced by loved ones as a result. But, family members should not blame themselves or receive blame from their loved ones. Accepting blame actively hinders recovery. Be patient and expect that through proper treatment, the veteran will arrive at a full understanding of her or his disorders and their causes, which are most often not caused by family members’ behaviors.
During the treatment process, family members and loved ones must take care of their own personal physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Supportive family, friends, and, most importantly, treatment professionals can provide needed bolstering help and support.
Contact us now – we are available and want to help your family. Contact us