Family and Mental Health Issues - How They Affect One Another

As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s important to spread awareness of all things to do with mental health, which includes how mental health issues affect the entire family. Family and mental health issues are affected by one another, so it’s crucial to identify the role that family has on mental health issues and the impact that mental health issues can have on a family. Fortunately, treatment centers that help to treat mental health issues commonly offer family education and counseling in order for family members and people who are diagnosed with mental health issues to be educated and practice coping and communication skills that can be helpful throughout recovery. For example, the outpatient family services available at Southcoast Psychiatric Services, an outpatient mental health treatment center located in Boca Raton, Florida.

Mental Illness Doesn’t Just Affect the Diagnosed Individual

When it comes to mental health issues, it’s easy to understand the impact that they may have on people who are diagnosed with them. According to research, over 52 million people in the United States alone are living with mental health issues. These people deal with symptoms of their mental health conditions that are debilitating to daily life, keeping them from enjoying the things they love, pursuing their dreams, and more. However, mental health issues don’t just affect the people dealing with mental health symptoms. They also affect the people that love them like their family members.

During mental health treatment and recovery, it’s crucial that family members of people diagnosed with mental health issues understand their important roles in providing support. Without support from loved ones and family, people dealing with mental health issues won’t have anyone to count on or trust as they deal with the changes they need to make during their treatment and recovery.

The degree to which mental health issues affect family depends on a variety of factors. These factors include the diagnosed mental health issue, the severity of symptoms, and the length and intensity of treatment programming can all influence how a family is impacted by a mental health issue.

Different Family Members and How They May be Impacted by a Mental Health Issue

Different family roles in a family environment may be impacted differently by a mental health issue. For instance, when a teenager is diagnosed with a mental health issue, their parent may have different feelings about their child’s diagnosis than the teenager’s siblings.

As a parent of someone who’s diagnosed with a mental health issue, one may experience feelings of guilt and responsibility. They also may be self-disputing about the plans they had for the future of their child including education, social influences, and more.

As a sibling of someone diagnosed with a mental health issue, one may experience feelings of guilt as they are not the one who is diagnosed. Siblings can also feel that the attention is on their diagnosed sibling – causing them to feel left out or neglected.

Every role in the family system may feel guilt about a mental health diagnosis, even the person who has been diagnosed. And, every member may feel shame that they do not yet understand the effects of the mental illness or how it will affect their family relationships in the future. All of these emotions are valid and are a normal part of the diagnosis process when it comes to dealing with mental health issues. So, they shouldn’t be something that any family member should feel ashamed of or blamed for having.

Education and Therapy for Families Dealing With Mental Health Issues

Both education and therapy are a great asset to families who are dealing with mental health issues. Education can provide information about a diagnosed mental illness to provide all members of the family with knowledge that includes how a specific mental health issue is developed, symptoms of the mental health issue, and available and helpful treatments. Furthermore, therapy can help families affected by mental health issues to pinpoint and acknowledge their feelings to they can be moved on from and begin to heal. And, therapy can also provide the tools necessary to learn coping skills, boundary-setting, and communication techniques that can assist families in providing optimal support for their family member in mental health treatment.

If you think that your family may benefit from family resources like education and therapy reach out to Southcoast Psychiatric Services today.