President's Prescription: Diagnosing mental illness

President's Prescription: Mental Illness

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A diagnosis of a serious mental illness can be very challenging, both for a patient as well as their loved ones. The spectrum of what constitutes mental illness is actually very wide, so it's important that you have the facts. So here are some tips so that if you or a loved one is diagnosed with a mental illness you can live life to the fullest.

Get the facts. While a mental illness diagnosis is scary, and often conjures up devastating expectations regarding the quality of life, there are many treatment methods that are proving incredibly effective. Learning about your options will improve your perspective.

Get support. While those with mental illness are going to receive counseling and therapy to cope with their symptoms. Did you know that there are support groups and counseling services for loved ones and caregivers well? It's important to get yourself the help to work through emotions you may have associated with a loved ones mental illness.

Get help. If you even suspect that you or someone close to you may be dealing with mental illness, reach out to available resources. State agencies, trusted family advisors, such as a pastor or other leaders in a community as well as a coordinated group of family members may either mandate or be able to persuade a struggling person get the help they need.

Most importantly, don't wait. Often times people who struggle with mental illness are ashamed of it and they don't want to admit to it, so you have to help them. This means you have to have a direct conversation. If you notice any signs of withdrawal or unreasonable beliefs or if somebody has feelings of wanting to hurt themselves or others, get them the help they need.

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