March 27th, 2012 19:17 EST
When Your Friends Don't Understand Your Mental Health Condition
You are just diagnosed with a mental health condition such as depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, addiction, OCD, or some other mental health disorder. You go see a counselor to get help. Eventually your relatives and closest friends find out your condition. The problem is that some of them get on your case and do not understand what you are going through. Here are four ways to deal with this situation.
1. Listen To The Professionals And Not Your Friends--Your friends may mean well, but when it comes down to it, the professionals know your situation more than anyone. They know what you are going through and are trained to deal with your situation. Your friends do not have the answers to your medical condition. When you have questions about your mental health situation consult with your counselor or other mental health professional. Listen to them and follow their advice and not your friends.
2. Your Goal Is To Get Better--Your goal is to get better, period. Don`t waste your time arguing with your friends or relatives who are giving you a difficult time. This isn`t a public relations event where you need to get everyone`s approval. This is your life and you`re the one suffering. Your main focus is for you to get better. This is the number one thing.
3. Tell Your Friends To Learn About Your Condition--Tell your friends and relatives that the best way for them to help you is to learn about your condition. They could talk to a counselor, they could do family therapy, they could read some good books or join you at a support group to learn about your condition. They won`t know exactly the pain your suffering but they will have some idea of what you are going through. If some of your friends won`t do this, then stay away from them. They will only make things worse.
4. Distance Yourself From People Who Give You A Hard Time--This may seem cruel but if some of your friends or relatives are hindering your progress in getting better, then kindly tell them to follow step Three or else tell them to stay away and go bother someone else. Distance yourself from those people who won`t make an effort to help understand what you are going through. You need to surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Again, if you have problems or issues with a particular person, you can always ask your counselor for advice on how to deal with them.
Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your depression and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future.
Remember your goal is to get better. Treat your mental health issues as a medical condition. If you have a medical condition, you go see a doctor to help treat it. Same thing applies to your mental health issues. Go see a professional and focus on getting better. Don`t try to get everyone`s approval.
Stan Popovich is the author of "A Layman`s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods" - an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com/