It’s normal not to know where to start when it comes to how to help someone with mental illness get the attention they need. But providing sideline support for loved ones dealing with mental illness can make all the difference in their path to recovery, especially for those struggling with the added complications of a dual diagnosis.
A dual diagnosis means that a person is suffering from both a mental health disorder and a co-occurring substance use disorder. It is estimated that 7.7 million American adults have a dual diagnosis, including 18.2% of those with an existing mental health condition.
This type of diagnosis can be tricky to treat, making it all the more important for loved ones to take an active role in helping individuals accept help. Below, we’re sharing tips on how to help someone with mental illness get the care they need, plus common barriers to acceptance that are worth knowing about when providing mental health and sober support.
Recognizing mental health issues in a friend or family member isn’t always easy, but identifying possible symptoms is certainly simpler than addressing them. Beyond larger issues of access to care, many real and perceived barriers prevent individuals with a dual diagnosis from receiving treatment, complicating your efforts to offer mental health and sober support.
And while you can’t make these barriers go away, you can help your loved one overcome them – you just have to know where to start.
You have an important role to play in helping a loved one with a dual diagnosis beginning or regaining sobriety.
Loved ones can be essential for getting individuals to accept treatment, often serving as the ones to recognize warning signs, start the care conversation, and provide long-term support.
The key to how to help someone stay sober when they have a dual diagnosis is to be there for them, offering support in a non-judgmental and compassionate way. Time and again, we see that this type of support can be integral to an individual’s recovery, spurring them toward the path of sobriety and helping them maintain it after their time in treatment.
Here are three ways you can show up for your loved one and help them get the care they need to live a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life.
Treatment options and the treatment process itself can take various forms. Learn what your loved one can expect in detox and rehab so you can alleviate fears and provide them with realistic expectations.
Keeping the conversation going can be as difficult as starting it in the first place. Listen without passing judgment, and make sure your loved one knows they can always come to you for support.
We encourage you to seek outside support, such as therapy or a support group. Taking care of yourself is a must when taking care of others and is often necessary as you go on the treatment journey with your friend or family member.
Remember: treating a dual diagnosis requires specialized care, and you can be the force that gets your loved one on that path. Do your best to support your loved one on their journey toward recovery, and contact us at South Beach Detox today for a consultation on our dual diagnosis treatment options.