When we love someone so much, we become one of those people who “knows them better than they know themselves.” This is why sometimes, it’s on you to approach your best friend or a close relative and be 100% open and honest and tell them that they should get professional help because they are spiraling down a dark and dangerous path. And quite often that person will not be the first to admit and seek help. They want it, but they need your help to get it. Here are some helpful tips on how to approach your loved one and encourage them to seek professional help (it’s a risky subject, we know, but it’s something you must do):
- Identify your reasons. Be certain that there are no more better ways you can help personally. You don’t want to simply remove a small challenge from yourself if you can still help somehow.
- Speak openly but carefully with your loved one and assure them they will benefit from opening up with a professional in ways they may not be able to with you. Make sure they know you are not removing yourself from the situation, but rather recruiting additional support from a professionally trained person in these issues. They will also be able to provide guidance in ways you are not educated in.
- Patience is important. It may take some time for your loved one to be content with the idea of seeing a therapist or a doctor. They may get angry with you, they may feel betrayed, but give them time to think it over.
- Offer to help find some good help and make an appointment. Drive your loved one to their appointment. Wait for them, and then drive them home. Being there every step of the way is a huge deal.
- Familiarize yourself with therapy sessions. Seek a doctor who specializes in your loved one’s situation so they can provide the best care as possible to help massage them out of this downward spiral.
- Support your loved one to regularly attend sessions. One session often isn’t enough to keep a person elevated out of trouble. Continued support is always helpful, from professionals and yourself. Eventually they can stop going to therapy, or go less. But not too soon.
Seeing our loved ones performing lower than their potential and heading down a dark path is frightening for both you and them, but it’s not the end of their potential. With your help they can achieve goals and see accomplishments! Do not give up on them. In times they need help, they need you to be supporting them along the way.