Relationships and Mental Health go Hand in Hand.

The quality of the relationship matters more than the quantity of the relationship. Humans are social beings, and relationships are important for us to give us a sense of belonging and make us feel secure. Healthy relationships with friends, family, and work colleagues help and protect us in times of uncertainty and adversity. Safe and secure relationships can help the individual recover from mental illness.

The reality of relationships in today’s world is that many prefer solitude and feel bogus about family and friend connections. Which raises a serious question: “Why is today’s generation hesitant and afraid of commitments?

  • Past experiences
  • Change in social norms
  • Independence and Autonomy
  • Dependence on technology
  • Changes in family structure
  • Fear of failure
  • Guarding oneself from getting hurt and disappointed
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Lack of interpersonal and communication skills
  • Self-centered

The list goes on and on. Every relationship in life causes some distress, as it requires hard work from both sides to sustain the relationship. Many are quite surprised when they hear they need to work hard for their relationship to progress and be healthy, as we have taken people for granted. Social connections have strong effects on our physical, emotional, and mental health.

When an individual struggles with anxiety, mood disorders, or other mental health issues, it can affect relationships as the individual has less interest or energy to invest in relationships. Mental health issues can affect the individual and people around them. A person dealing with mental health issues can become distant with family members, friends, or other social connections, and generally, people become tired of or fed up with the person with mental health issues. This happens due to a lack of awareness about mental health and a lack of knowledge on how to handle a person who is in distress. People experiencing depression, anxiety, or any other form of mental health issues often feel shame, blame themselves, and take every effort to avoid connecting with others around them.

How can you help a friend or a family member with mental health issues?
  • First of all, educate yourself about mental health issues. There are authentic resources that can be used to gain knowledge about the symptoms, causal factors, intervention plans, and a basic understanding of how you can help them in times of need.
  • Let the individual share as much as they want or as little as they want. All you have to do is listen attentively. Talking about their mental health struggles takes time and courage to open up, so never pressure the person to talk; let them share at their own pace.
  • Never diagnose, second-guess, set assumptions, or jump to the wrong conclusions. Never suggest solutions or advice, and avoid generalizing their situations or problems and confrontations, while encouraging them to seek professional help.
  • Reassure and validate their feelings and words.This can create a safe space for them to confide and trust you.
  • Include them in any hangouts or social activities. Ask them gently, even if they resist coming.
  • Be aware of your own limits; not everyone has a mental health background. It is essential to take care of yourself as well. Help the person create a supportive environment with family or friends. If there is a threat or emergency situation, take urgent action to ensure they are safe and seek the essential help required for them. When the individual with mental health issues may try to avoid you, refuse to talk, be rude, and hurt you. In these situations, don’t take it personally and try to communicate that you care for them and are here to help them if they need it.
  • These are some of the ways you can ask the person:

I am worried about you. Do you want to talk about what you are experiencing? If not me, can you let me know with whom you will be comfortable sharing?

What can I do to help you, or is there anyone else who could help you?

I am here to support and care for you. Please let me know if you want to talk about something.

Who or what helped you deal with these issues in the past?

It seems like you are going through something that is very difficult. How can I help you or support you?



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