Imagine if someone you loved told you they had diabetes, a serious physical health condition. It is manageable through certain medical care and will not threaten their life if they stay on the right treatment plan. How would you react? Would you be concerned, offer your support, ask what you could do to help?
Now imagine if someone you loved told you they had bipolar disorder. Would you react differently? Would you laugh and think they are “crazy”. Would you all of a sudden be scared of them and withdraw from the relationship you once had?
Mental illness is just like a physical illness, it impacts your daily life, it can most often be treated, however the stigma is much greater. Imagine how difficult it would be to live with a mental health disorder and constantly get criticized for being different, when people with physical health conditions often do not live with that same stigma. More often than not someone you know is living with a mental health disorder and you may not even know. Friendship, companionship, reassurance, support and love are all ways you can help your loved one.
Having a support system is very important in the process of recovery because recovery is possible and living a healthy life for those with mental health disorders is also achievable.
Here is a video that explains some of the common first signs of mental heath illness
Source: Youth M.O.V.E. Minnesota