Transforming the Mind
What helps the mentally ill?
The first answer that most people usually come up with to mental illness is “medication”. Medication can help the mentally ill in many cases, even completely cure them. For others, however, medication helps only in a limited way, while inducing a number of side effects.
Medication can also be an admission of one’s own mental illness and the shame they feel for taking it is often unacceptable to the mentally ill person. A person diagnosed with mental illness might be forced to take medication for a period of time, but shame will often cause the person to stop the medication, and starting and stopping mental health meds is sometimes more dangerous than not taking them at all.
While medication is usually a part of a solution for the mentally ill, it is never the whole answer.
Some other things that help the mentally ill include:
A safe living arrangement. Every mentally ill person needs a place to live where stress is reduced to a minimum and they do not live in fear.
A regular counselor. Every mentally ill person needs someone they can trust to listen to them and to give positive, applicable counsel. This person is usually a professional counselor, but not necessarily.
Someone who can serve as a sounding board for the person. An opportunity to discuss their thoughts and decisions and to be gently corrected if their thinking doesn’t match reality is often a big help. This is especially helpful if the person listening can pray for the mentally ill without judging them.
Community. Having a sense of belonging in a group that openly welcomes them and has a specific social place for them.
An organized plan for daily living. A mentally ill person almost always benefits from having a regular daily schedule to live by. This living plan needs to be determined by them and should not be imposed upon them by others.
Feeling functional. Every person needs to feel that they are productive and that they have a purpose.
Having clear boundaries. Every mentally ill person needs to have understanding of what they can and cannot do or say with other people in different contexts, and what is unacceptable speech or behavior.