Watching a friend struggle with mental illness can be challenging, confusing, and maybe even disheartening. You may not know how to reach them to let them know that you are there for them, despite their social withdrawal, irrational thoughts and actions, and lack of communication. As a counselor in Orlando, we understand how difficult it may be to show your support for someone that is battling mental illness. However, we can help you make sure that your friends still know you are there during tough times. These are some of the things that you can say to a friend when they are suffering from a mental illness.
Friends that are battling mental health may withdraw from social activities, avoid large gatherings and events, or simply opt to stay home instead of attending weekly hangouts. This may make it seem like they do not want to be around you, but that couldn’t be more wrong. Telling your friends that they are not alone despite their social withdrawn behaviors is important for reassuring them you are there when or if they need you.
When you have a friend with a mental illness, you may not always need to be right next to them to show your support. Instead, you will want to reassure them, comfort them, and let them know that you are here when they need you. This way, they will know that they can rely on you when they are ready to reach out for a shoulder to lean on, a listening ear, or just to sit next to people.
Those who are suffering from mental illness may feel like they are a burden on others around them. They may blame themselves for their irrational feelings or confusing emotions, even though they are coping with depression, anxiety, or another mental issue. Do not let your friends think that they need to apologize for their behaviors and thoughts, as this is not something they should feel guilty about. When they approach you to apologize, immediately talk to them about how they do not need to say sorry, feel ashamed, or feel any guilt.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for a friend is to point them in the direction of professional help. This is especially critical if you are concerned about their well-being and safety. Do some research in your community to learn about counselors and therapists that can help your friend cope with the symptoms of their mental illness. Let them know that it is okay to ask for help, and make it even easier by providing them with choices.
These are some of the statements that you can say to a friend that is suffering from mental illness. Being a good friend means that you need to learn how to be there for them even in the toughest of times. Our counselor in Orlando can help you provide the support and help you need for your friends. Contact us to schedule your appointment with our professional counselors today.