Added: Jameel Schaper - Date: 13.10.2021 00:07 - Views: 30287 - Clicks: 9839
Friendship is a crucial element in protecting our mental health. Our friends can keep us grounded, help us get things in perspective, and help us manage the problems that life throws at us. But friendships can play a key role in helping us live with or recover from a mental health problem and overcome the isolation that often comes with it.
Both can be difficult to do, so we have tips on how to start a conversation, offer support, and look after yourself. If you have a mental health problem, you may feel ashamed of 'admitting' to it. You don't have to tell your friends - and you certainly don't have to tell everyone.
Think about who you might feel comfortable talking to. It might help to write a list of the pros and cons of telling or not telling people about your problem.
Tough as it can be, talking to close friends can be important for both of you. Even if you don't talk about it again, having the issue out in the open means that you don't have to worry about mentioning your mental health problem by accident or 'explain away' medication or appointments. You may want to practise your opening sentence or you may want to play it by ear. Choose a time and a place where you will both feel comfortable. Think about whether:.
Understanding mental health problems can be difficult, despite how common they are. Be ready for your friend to be shocked or react badly. They may feel awkward and not know how to respond.
This may be because they feel so worried about you or perhaps your news has struck a chord with something in their own life. They may even suggest that you're fine and just need to 'pull yourself together'.
Most people don't know very much about mental health issues so it may be a good idea to tell your friend about the problem itself, but don't overwhelm them. Self-help and peer support groups are often useful. By sharing your experiences, you can support other people and learn about how they cope with challenging situations. You could a group centred around an activity: a book group, a chess club or an exercise class.
You don't have to talk to anyone if you don't want to, but just being around other people can help you feel more connected. Online communities can also be supportive, whether or not they are focused around mental health problems. If you're the friend of someone with a mental health problem, you may be concerned about them.
The most valuable support you can provide is just being there to talk and listen. Making time to call, text, visit or invite someone over can make a big difference. Mental health problems can be misunderstood. Your friend isn't looking for another mental health professional — they just want your support as a friend.
Remember that someone who insists that they're fine may actually be in a bad way. They may just need to talk or they may need professional help. Men are often particularly reluctant to talk about emotional issues. Practical help can be valuable too.
Cleaning, shopping and basic household tasks can seem impossible to someone who is having a difficult time. Ask your friend what they need: it could be going to appointments with them, helping them manage their finances or finding information about therapies and services, for example. Some people reach the point where, instead of being a friend, they feel they've become more of a carer. You may feel responsible for your friend and worry about what would happen if you weren't around. It can be painful and embarrassing - on both sides - to admit that this is happening.
But there are things you can do to look after yourself and rebalance the friendship. For example:. Now that my friend has recovered we are closer than before. However, I worry that I might not be able to cope with another episode. Home A-to-z F Friendship and mental health Friendship and mental health Friendship is a crucial element in protecting our mental health.
This looks at: talking to friends about your mental health supporting a friend with a mental health problem. Talking to friends about your mental health If you have a mental health problem, you may feel ashamed of 'admitting' to it. Getting help from people other than friends If you don't feel that turning to a friend is an option, there are other forms of informal help. Supporting a friend who has a mental health problem If you're the friend of someone with a mental health problem, you may be concerned about them.
For example: Take a break if you need to — some time to yourself can help you feel refreshed. Set clear boundaries to the support you can give. Share your role with others, if you can. Knowing other people are there to support your friend can take the pressure off you.Looking for someone to talk to and spend time with
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