Don’t Talk To Them In The Moment
A cardinal rule of telling someone you love that they need help is not talking to them in one of their most helpless moments. For those with substance use disorders it is best not to confront them while they are intoxicated. Finding the right time to talk to someone with a mental health disorder can be tricky. How does one know the right time to talk to someone who is depressed or dealing with anxiety? It is best to schedule a time to talk and check in with them to make sure they are sticking to the commitment. Try not to make it obvious- they could suspect a confrontation or an intervention and run- both literally and figuratively.
Confront Them About Their Problems (But Remember It Might Not Be The Only One)
A friend goes through a divorce. They are devastated. For a short while they take to drinking to help them ease the pain of abandonment and loss. Months go by but the drinking doesn’t stop. In fact, it gets worse. Finally, something has to be said. You, your friends’ family, and other friends, decide to confront them about their drinking problem. Whether the immediate issue is drinking, drug use, or the persistent symptoms of mental health disorder like depression, confronting a loved one is hit or miss. They will either respond and admit there is a problem, or go on the defense and dive deeper into their suffering. Instead of telling someone they have a drinking problem you might point out what it is they are going through, for example, a divorce. With compassion and understanding communicate to them that their current choice of action is not the best for coping with their situation. In addition, they are setting themselves up long term to create more problems for themselves and those around them. You never want to shame or criticize someone struggling with a mental health disorder. They need more love now than ever before.
Give Them 110%
Even if they haven’t crossed you or done you wrong, there is a chance your loved one might not feel they deserve your love and support or even their own recovery. Remind them that they have your unending support. Volunteer to take them to treatment, sober support groups, or what they need until they get their feet on the ground. Remember to maintain healthy boundaries if they start taking advantage of you. Even then, remain their number one cheerleader reminding them they are capable of and worth recovering.
Avalon By The Sea is a dual diagnosis treatment center providing primary care for both mental health and substance use disorder issues. For a confidential assessment or information on how to help a loved one admit to our programs, call 1 888-958-7511.