An Interesting and helpful article.
A loved one’s diagnosis of mental illness can send waves of confusion and fear through the entire family. The confusion and fear are actually a love-based reaction. When mental illness is unknown territory, it’s natural to be afraid of exploring it without causing harm.
Take, for example, a man named Isaac. He is a husband and a father. Isaac has been newly diagnosed with a serious mental illness called dissociative identity disorder (DID). His wife, Reese, is often unsure of how to handle it. She consults his psychiatrist after she tells Isaac something she’s learned about his past.
“Did I hurt Isaac more by telling him this? We have this pact to avoid secrets, but maybe I shouldn’t have said anything.”
Reese is like so many family members and friends of those living with any mental illness. To want to help and support is a common desire. Equally common is a sense of anxiety, stress and sometimes even fear. When someone you care about is diagnosed with a mental illness, what can ensue is a period that feels like both relief and chaos.
A diagnosis can mean some answers are coming, an explanation of thoughts, feelings and behaviors that have been challenging. This can bring a sense of relief and hope. However, when it comes to a new diagnosis of a mental illness, answers quite often lead to a whole new boatload of questions. A prominent question is just how to support a loved one newly diagnosed with a mental illness.