You need to take a different approach to a crisis intervention when your son or daughter has a chronic, long-term mental health concern than for episodic problems. That is because the person can become used to the problem and unable to recognize it worsening. Nonetheless, there are ways you can help and support your loved one through professional intervention services.
The Chronic Issue Isn’t Always Obvious
When someone has an ongoing mental health problem, he or she might not realize there is a problem. They might have become accustomed to the problem or might not have noticed the problem worsening during a slow decline. With long-term problems, the person can have a strong coping skill that helps them get by, but it might not be healthy. While positive coping skills have the potential to help, negative coping skills, such as using drugs or avoiding feelings, can cause further harm.
In addition, people with chronic issues tend to delay treatment or put off taking care of themselves because of responsibilities and pride. Try to address this during the family intervention. For example, you might suggest taking a break from a job or school to focus on health for a while.
Dealing With The Denial
With a chronic problem, you’ll most likely be facing denial during the crisis intervention. Denial is common with long-term conditions because the person has been facing symptoms for so long that it becomes easy for them to deny them and he might not realize how bad things really are because he is used to the situation.
To face denial during an intervention, avoid arguing. Instead, Therese J. Borchard on PsychCentral suggests that you learn about symptoms of the mental health issue and look for specific instances where your loved one is acting out that behavior. Share these examples during the intervention in an objective way, without judgment or emotion.
Let your loved one know that everyone in her life will be okay if they takes a step back to take care of herself. Try not to make it sound like they’re not important or needed, but that everyone’s lives won’t fall apart if they take the time and space needed to address the problem and work on the issues. Let her know that her life will be waiting for her when they’re ready to come back.
Also, let your loved one know that he is not failing by stepping back; he is also not being selfish and failing everyone else. Help them to see that accepting help from others actually takes a lot of strength and life can improve for everyone involved if he takes this step.
Before the crisis intervention, come up with a plan or options for treatment to suggest to your loved one during the intervention. This way, you are giving a possible solution to the problem instead of just focusing on the problem. If you need assistance, have a mental health professional or professional interventionist be part of your intervention team.
Overall, try to help your loved one with a chronic problem by offering support and sharing non-judgmental observations. Since the problem can become ingrained in the person’s life over time, try to show them through an intervention how the problem is affecting his life and the lives of those around them.
If you are looking for professional intervention services to help your loved one with their long-term mental health issue, contact us today. No matter where you are, we can help.