Warning over 'Blue Whale' game encouraging young people to take their own lives
People are being urged to watch out for a sinister social media challenge which goads young people to kill themselves. Click here for the full article.
Coping Strategies when a family member has a Mental Illness
Be well Informed
Educate yourself on the kind of mental illness your family member has. Know what the symptoms, treatments, and follow ups are. There are no best ways for communication and setting boundaries. Though the illness is not your fault or your families; it benefits you and your family to remain open minded and willing to learn new ways of doing things.
Make sure to have a support network
There are many ranges of emotions from anger to fear to hopefulness and hopelessness. Having others that have experienced it before can help eliminate unhealthy coping mechanisms such as isolation , shame, control, and self-esteem.
Make time for yourself
Remember to take care of yourself. Misery and fear love company. Living with and/or loving someone who has a mental illness can be incredibly draining. Do not become a hostage or enabler. Remember the flight instructions " Those travelling with small children; place the oxygen mask on yourself first then assist the children".
Be a victor not a victim
Pain is inevitable ; sufferiung is optional. We are all going to feel pain in life regardless of the context we find ourselves. But if we surround ourselves with knowledge, self care, experienced support and nurturing we become volunteer's instead of victm's.
Recognise that unwellness can be episodic
A person with a mental illness depending on the diagnosis is likely to experience times when they are well and unwell. So make the most of the person when they are well. Make sure you do all your favourite activities with them in this time.
Understand that medicvation takes time to work
In most cases, improvement takes as long as 6-8 weeks. Even early responders require 3-4 weeks before they notice an improvement. A person on medication should never stop taking medication on their own; medical supervision is a must. There can be serious physical and emotional complications from sudden withdrawal such as increased depression and suicidal tendencies.
Medication alone is fairly ineffective
Research has shown that medication combined with a healthly lifestyle is the most effective treatment.
Get a written relapse prevention plan
Assist the person with a mental illness to monitor their own sleep, appetite, exercise, activites and mood changes. Early intervention is the key to stopping a downward spiral. Determine what worked in the past and try to incorporate it into the plan.