Learning about mental health concerns not only affects those diagnosed, it also impacts the family. As dynamics change and new bonds develop, family members often find themselves in conflict with one another due to misunderstanding mental disorders and disagreeing on treatment approaches. This can be a confusing experience. Although many individuals feel alleviated having a new explanation for their condition, they may be fraught with new challenges within their relationships.
Although most family members express wanting to provide support to their loved ones, their general misunderstanding about mental health may lead to uncomfortable responses and circumstances. Members may hold their own biases regarding mental disorders, assuming that the conditions may be a result of weakness, character, and lack of effort. This indicates the belief that individuals are responsible for the development of their mental disorders. It should be noted that although loved ones might display awkward and distressing responses, it is most likely related to misinformation they have learned about mental illness. Their uneasy approach might make it difficult to experience their good intentioned help. It may be best to educate family members about mental health and what works best.
You don’t have to do this alone. Here at Intercommunity Action, the therapeutic services are set up to support any individual process and family dynamic. Participating in individual and family session treatment could yield great results. If you or someone you know is in need of mental health support, there are many options available, including professional counseling. Please call us at (215) 487-1330 or email us at Greenridge@intercommunityaction.org for more information about our counseling services.
Author: Katherine Homa, MA
Noonan, S. (2017, May 18). Mental Illness Splits Families. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/view-the-mist/201705/mental-illness-splits-families