You have just been 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.
- 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 better 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, not that of your friends.
- Your goal is to get better. Don’t waste your time arguing with 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 No. 1 thing.
- 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 you’re 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.
- Distance yourself from people who give you a hard time. 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 him or her.
Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your disorder(s). They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. Your goal is to become better able to deal with future problems.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Aug 2014
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Popovich, S. (2014). When People Don’t Understand Your Mental Health Condition. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 18, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/08/10/when-people-dont-understand-your-mental-health-condition/