Acknowledging your pain
First and foremost, you should be aware that your loved one’s mental illness will affect your life. Depending on your role within the family, your age and your relationship to the person, you may experience some difficult emotions. This combination of feelings may affect your own well-being. You may feel guilt, worry, frustration, helplessness and sadness. This is normal.
Living with serious concerns leads to a level of anxiety that can become as serious as the problem that caused it. Stress is a physical and emotional reaction experienced by all humans. When it is moderate, it can motivate and stimulate you. On the other hand, when it is excessive, it can have negative impacts on your health, family or social relationships, work, mood and perceptions.
Stress becomes a problem when your reactions become inadequate and when you experience a profound state of discomfort or suffering. It makes sense for you to feel exhausted. However, you should be mindful because stress can be harmful to your health in many ways.
Helping yourself so you can help others
You may not feel the need to seek help, but remember that you will not be able to offer optimal support when you feel exhausted. You have to take care of yourself. Despite their struggles, your loved one is still their own person and the illness should not take over your life. Recognizing your signs of stress and fatigue and setting boundaries are essential to providing effective support.
Easier said than done? We agree that it is a demanding process to undertake, but it is a challenge that can be overcome by seeking help from Réseau Avant de Craquer member groups.