Family Magazine

Telling Your Family About A Mental Health Issue

By Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum

ID 10015187 300x198 Telling Your Family About A Mental Health Issue

Thanks to the stigma attached to a mental health issue, it can be frightening to confide in others about you condition. Some fear that being honest and confessing to others about how they really feel will result in them be laughed at or being told it is just all in the mind.

Others fear that it will change the way people look at them. In many cases the fear of speaking out will postpone being truthful about how they are feeling and the mental health issue will continue to go untreated.

This is how mental health issues affect people, they fear rejection from others and do not feel important enough to be able to ask for support.

Some still assume that mental health issues are somehow less serious than physical conditions and because a physical condition is usually something that can be seen, there is a tendency to rate them as being more serious than mental health issues. But depression and other mental health issues makes their victims feel so badly that they kill themselves – so it is only right that they are treated seriously too.

In the majority of cases, the anxiety of telling a family member of a mental health condition will be judged wrong. They will be concerned and want to help them in any way they can.

Your family has a right to know that mental health issues are causing you stress and upset. They would be upset and feel betrayed somewhat if you keep it a secret and feel like they are the ones letting you down.

How To Tell A Family Member About Your Mental Health Issue

  • Speak with the most trusted and closest family member to you first to brake the ice
  • Having a close friend there to support you when you tell your family can help
  • Write down some key points of what you want to say, these can prompt you if you become frightened or unsure what to say
  • If speaking is too frightening write down what you want to say and give the letter to a family member
  • Be honest when you speak about your mental health, don’t be tempted to put on a brave face
  • Prepare yourself for various reactions, try not to take negative or shocked reactions to heart, allow them time to adjust
  • Choose a good time, don’t dive right in if the family is in the middle of an argument for example
  • Don’t be surprised if others reveal they too have suffered from mental health in the past

There are bound to be lots of questions asked about your mental health issue,  be sure to research and be armed with as much information as you can be.

The more you are able to discuss, the more support you can receive.

A trusted family member could be appointed to become your main supporter and accompany you to mental health appointments and ensure any medication is collected and taken.  Allow them to support you and feel like they are helping.

How did you tell your family members about your mental health issue? 

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