Recovery from mental health issues and maladaptive coping skills can be challenging. There is often a lot of work that needs to be done to learn healthy coping skills and how to live a productive life. If your loved one is in treatment or recovery, supporting them through this process can be a crucial piece to their success.
Helping Yourself Help Your Loved Ones
The best way to help your loved ones who are struggling is by helping yourself. When there is an immense amount of built-up emotion in family members of those in treatment for mental health and addiction, such as anger, sadness, disappointment, and many others, family life can become hostile. Finding help for yourself is the first step in helping your loved ones.
Find a Support Group
One way you can help yourself in order to help your loved ones is to find a group of people ready and willing to support you. Groups such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon provide resources for families struggling with addiction. There are also groups such as Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) that can help you overcome enabling behavior and codependent tendencies.
These groups can be a great way to work on what you are going through and learn better ways to cope. If you take your negativity out on your loved one, this will only hinder their process. You can’t truly help others if you are not doing anything to help yourself.
If groups aren’t suitable for you or do not seem like enough, there is also the option of individual therapy. Being able to understand yourself better and what you are going through will help you be more present with your family member. Therapy can also help you recognize that you don’t have to take on the responsibility of helping your loved one all by yourself. The kinder you are to yourself, the kinder and more compassionate you can be with your loved ones.
Letting Your Loved One Know You Support Them
When letting your loved one know you are there to support them, offer accountability, but don’t force it. Know the boundaries of your loved one. Be sure to state your intentions because they may not be able to see them right away. Let them know that you want to communicate with them and you are there to support them in any way that you can.
Often, people in treatment have shame about their mental health or addiction issues, and they may think they are oversharing or others are disinterested. Make them aware that they always have a safe space to talk about whatever they may want to when you are around.
Encourage your friend or family member to seek treatment from somewhere that will prioritize their clients. At 449 Recovery, each client is placed with a therapist, counselor, and psychiatrist in order to be supported in the best way possible. Some evidence-based therapies used in quality treatment centers include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Motivational interviewing
- Holistic healing
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
If you feel that you do not know how to support a loved one struggling with their mental health or unhealthy coping skills, seek to educate yourself. Research mental health disorders, addiction, treatment, and recovery. There are plenty of free resources available to learn about these prevalent topics. Getting involved in groups is a great way to learn, but specific courses can also be incredibly beneficial.
Support After Treatment
Celebrate your loved ones’ wins with them, and although you can be aware of the past, do not hold it against them. Focus on the present, what they have achieved, and their goals moving forward. Offer words of encouragement and positivity and let them know that you are all ears if need be. Make it known that you are rooting for them, and their addiction does not define them.
Talk about being an accountability partner if they would like it, and support them in continuing to go to all of their meetings and therapy appointments. You can offer to be a reminder to take any prescribed medications and listen to any concerns they may have about them. Encourage them to advocate for themselves and their health. Get involved in any way that you can and are allowed, and express that they are not alone in this journey.
Help get your loved one involved in activities that support abstinence, and discuss any triggers that you may need to be aware of. Ask questions and check up on them but respect their boundaries when they do not want to talk. Be mindful of the people and environment you bring them into, and practice clear communication.
At 449 Recovery, we take pride in providing the best care to our clients, and we know how mental health and unhealthy coping skills can affect everyone involved. We seek to help in any way that we can, whether admitting someone into treatment or guiding them in a direction that may be best for them. It is essential to know the importance of quality support and ways to be most prepared to be there for those beginning or ending treatment. If you don’t know how to be there for your friend or family member, 449 Recovery is happy to provide you with the necessary resources. With the desire to learn you can accomplish anything. Call 449 Recovery today at (949) 435-7449 to ask about treatment or gather information on how you can be as supportive as possible for your loved one.