Mental Disorder: What are the Benefits Of Good Family Support?

Mental Disorder: What are the Benefits Of Good Family Support?

 Mental Disorder: What are the Benefits Of Good Family Support?

Erhazele Great (Bates)

 Mental Disorder (also called mental illness) is a wide range of conditions that affect mood, thinking and behavior. Examples of such disorders are Anxiety disorders,Bipolar affective disorders,Depression, Paranoia and Obsessive compulsive disorders. It is a broad condition that inhibits functionality of the affected individual. Treatment can involve both medications and psychotherapy depending on the disease and its severity. As of now,most mental disorders cannot be cured but manage to effectively minimize the symptoms and allow the individual to function in work, school or social environment.

There are several methods available to effectively manage mental illnesses (depending on the type and presentation). A critical factor for a successful treatment outcome is the presence of a strong family support. The benefits that come with having good family support in one's road to recovery from a mental illness cannot be overemphasized. Family members are often the first to recognize behavioral changes that accompany mental disorders and assist in seeking appropriate help. They provide invaluable information on clinical history,family history,life history and habits of the affected patients. Families also often serve as informal case managers, providing and coordinating care for their relatives. In the course of treatment,supervision is an important task; adherence to drugs,sleep patterns, avoiding certain substances (in addiction) and lifestyle habits.Especially for patients who are not committed to a facility,the role of monitoring falls on the immediate family. One research study even found that the majority of their patients with serious mental illness reported that their families were their primary source of strength.

By providing affection and belonging, offering emotional and instrumental support and by staying actively involved in the recovery,families are important players in the recovery process. A key step in the recovery journey is getting reconnected with family members, friends, colleagues and society, the family is important in this journey. Although the journey can be messy and complicated,it is important to avoid stigmatization as isolation shuts down and confuses the patients,this will be counterproductive. Mental breakdown or relapse might create difficult problems as it disrupts the normal routine and life of the patient be it school,work or personal responsibilities. Understanding and love is critical at this point, patients need all the shoulders they can lean on.

Recovery can be overwhelming requiring several changes. There is also the risk of crisis and relapse which can impede the recovery process.For patients in the process of integration back to social settings,the best outcome will be possible only if their loved ones are able to identify such crisis quickly and do the needful. Some sufferers may need child care assistance, school and work responsibilities assistance, financial assistance,support for housing and others. Whichever support,the presence of a good family goes a long way in getting them there. Recent research has shown that success rates in management of mental illnesses are higher when strong family support is present.

Finally, family relationships are complicated. When someone is struggling with a mental health problem,their relationship with family members may be damaged or strained but family support could make all the difference in their recovery journey.


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