Last week we discussed the worst things to ever say to someone with a mental illness. Many viewers commented on what their personal experiences have been and how someone’s words simply tore them apart, confused them, hurt them, or even empowered them in the long run. What we say to someone who is struggling with something has a great deal to do with our knowledge-base, belief system, life perspective, and ability to care for someone. What we say also has a lot to do with how we have been treated when we have needed help. We are social animals who learn by experience. What we say and do has most likely been learned from some early experience in development. Sadly, we rarely consider the impact we have on someone with the words we use. But in some cases, if a person is taught what to say to someone who is struggling, they can change their perspective and ultimately how they communicate with the sufferer.
This past week I met with a few of my former colleagues and we ended up discussing the various ways we tend to de-stress over the weekend. I thought many of the suggestions shared were great and wanted to share them with you!
Dr Viktor Frankl, Logotherapist and author of Man’s Search For Meaning, coined the term “iatrogenic neurosis” to describe an illness “caused” by or made worse by a provider of healthcare. It’s hard to imagine that a healthcare provider, specifically a mental health professional, can make an illness worse. How is it possible for a professional to create more problems for a client seeking help?
If I were to quiz you on the 10 worst signs of a bad therapist would you know what they are? What did you like about them or dislike? It’s often difficult for people to decipher a good therapist from a bad therapist until something unethical happens.
We have been talking a lot about psychotic disorders, childhood onset-schizophrenia, delusions, and hallucinations,so lets discuss the differences between the psychotic disorders and ways to cope as a family member, parent, friend, companion, or caregiver to someone who is suffering.
Have you ever had to face the fact that perhaps your loved one or close friend needed to be hospitalized? Was their illness so bad and jeopardizing his or her safety that you considered discussing the need to have the person “sign themselves in?” If so, join the millions of other individuals and families who have had to face this very difficult and emotionally draining situation.
Have you ever been to a mental health agency where everything appeared to be disorganized, unethical, and perhaps even illegal? Did a loved one receive mediocre mental health services, inadequate services, or no help at all? If so, you are not alone.
Are you a mother or father of a son with a mental health or behavioral disorder? How did you cope with the reality that your son would probably need your help and support for the rest of his life? For many parents, accepting an illness can feel like one of the worst things you’ll ever have to do. Many mothers have spoken to me about their struggle to not only accept but also to live with their child’s illness. It isn’t easy. It’s almost unimaginable.
Mental illness affects each and every one of us. It has become one of the most emotionally charged topics of our current time. If you mention mental illness anywhere you are, you can expect someone to say “I have a loved one who struggles with…..,” or you could find yourself in an argument over gun laws, mental health laws, and barriers to treatment. Many of us have lost track of the various cases that have occurred over the past 2-3 years involving untreated or poorly treated mental illness. Lets take a look a few notable ones.
How would you feel if a healthcare provider said to you “come back with your son (or daughter) when he/she tells you they want to kill themselves or someone else? What about if this mental health professional or doctor told you “your insurance will not cover mental health care unless your loved one is at imminent risk?” These are the types of things multiple families and parents are hearing almost daily across the nation when they seek to hospitalize or get care for their loved one. There is no recourse for these families.
What are the signs of psychiatric need? How can you ever tell if someone is in need of help? Is it by the way that they look, talk, or behave? Perhaps. Does the individual have to look disheveled or depressed? For many people these are the signs of the mental health need. But for mental health professionals it can be very difficult to decipher between an individual who does not care for themselves and an individual who needs psychiatric intervention. It’s a very tricky situation.