What are the Best Sources of Support for Mental Illness?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill
Support groups may be very helpful to people suffering with a mental illness.
Support groups may be very helpful to people suffering with a mental illness.

The best sources of support for mental illness will depend on the patient and the mental illness being treated. In most cases, one's friends and family members are the primary sources of support, followed by doctors and other health care professionals. Many patients also find support through groups with others who have the same illnesses they are dealing with.

Doctors may be sources of support for mental illness.
Doctors may be sources of support for mental illness.

Many patients find their best source of support for mental illness is through family members and close friends. Patients feel most comfortable with those they know and trust, so loved ones are often the first to know about the illness they are suffering from. They may also be the first to notice troubling symptoms and they often encourage their loved ones to get the professional help they need.

Understanding loved ones can be an invaluable support system for those suffering with mental illness.
Understanding loved ones can be an invaluable support system for those suffering with mental illness.

Having a stable and supportive home life is crucial for those who are dealing with a mental illness. Those who have this support system in place are more likely to stick with treatment and counseling than those who don’t. This is not the only source of support, however, and even those who do not have a supportive family or network of friends can be successful in treatment.

Doctors, counselors, and other medical professionals are also important in support for mental illness patients. Medical doctors are often the first point of contact who can make referrals to mental health professionals. Psychiatrists and counselors offer medication to help with symptoms and healthy coping mechanisms. Sometimes mental illness, like depression, can also be caused by emotional trauma, so these things are discussed as well.

Group therapy can also be a beneficial source of support for mental illness sufferers. This refers to a formal meeting of individuals who have the same problems, conditions, or other issues. They are able to talk about their feelings, share coping mechanisms and potential treatments, and offer support from someone who understands. Online support groups are also available, and there are many different types aimed to support those who have various illnesses.

Anyone who believes that he or she has troubling symptoms should seek support for mental illness right away. Most illnesses are now treatable, but those who delay getting help may decline in function quickly. There are many types of mental illnesses. Some of the most widely known are depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, hypochondria, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

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    • Support groups may be very helpful to people suffering with a mental illness.
      Support groups may be very helpful to people suffering with a mental illness.
    • Doctors may be sources of support for mental illness.
      Doctors may be sources of support for mental illness.
    • Understanding loved ones can be an invaluable support system for those suffering with mental illness.
      Understanding loved ones can be an invaluable support system for those suffering with mental illness.