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3 Tips to Empower You and Your Loved One, Part II

  Two weeks ago, I started this conversation. I provided three tips to strengthen and empower you and your loved one: 1) Give options and practice shared decision-making, 2) Focus on strengths, and 3) Keep the trust. Although brain disorders may persist there are early warning signs prior to an episode and crisis. Be mindful of these triggers and warning signs that way you can reduce the likelihood of hospitalization by seeing help early on.     Now, I’ll provide three ways to keep from getting to crisis mode and prolong the process of a breakdown. My three tips: 1. Don’t overlook the early warning signs. 2. Don’t avoid the conversation, strive to address symptoms and concerns. 3. Don’t jeopardize the trust.      First, early warning signs may be subtle. Here are a few early warning signs that your loved one may exhibit, but are not limited to the following: poor sleeping patterns, severe mood swings or irritability, poor hygiene, isolating, and hyper-religious behavior. These ar
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3 Tips to Empower You and Your Loved One

How can I help my loved one? How can I support their recovery? These are common questions I get from caregivers and supporters of people living with a diagnosis. I will identify three general tips to solidify your goals to empower your loved one. Before asking how can I help my loved one, consider this: are they ready to move forward in recovery right now? Is this what they want, or what I want? Recovery demands ownership of the process. Here are some dos for supporting your loved:  1) Give options and practice shared decision-making,  2) Focus on strengths, and  3) Keep the trust.  First, nobody likes being told what to do. Therefore, practice shared decision-making. Empower your loved one with options. For example, instead of saying you’re going to this program or that personal care home, discuss the choices. I understand how this could work, first-hand. Eventually, I didn’t want to stay with family, I wanted to live on my own. My mother didn’t want me to leave, but she consciously a

Let's Talk Project - Interview Series (Recommendations for People Experiencing Mental Health Challenges)

[This talk: "Recommendations for People Experiencing Mental Health Challenges: Ashley Smith: Let's Talk - The Let's Talk Project is funded by a grant from the Association for Psychological Science Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science.] This talk emphasizes the fact that recovery will look different for everybody, and it will be a fight. I encourage people with similar diagnoses to consider my three recommendations: Consider therapy, Strengthen your support system, and Manage your self-care "I'm not immune to setbacks and to breakdowns, but I am confident that I'm going to give it my all to come back stronger and better after every breakdown, because I've been through some rough moments and I probably have some ahead of me...."

Upside Down

I made an error. My mind jumps on the merry-go-round. I think of everything, but potential solutions to fix it. I froze and a wave of negative thoughts about my mistake penetrated my entire body and energy. Shoulders stay high, my chest is tight, I maintain an unsteady breathing rate which broadcasts my internal chaos from the tone of my voice, alone. I sound like the blaring uneasiness of severe stress, worry, anxiety, discomfort, and dread.  I regain a moment of control and focus on fixing the issue. However, my stress level continues to rise as I meditate on the problem, and the perception I might have portrayed. Frantically, I make a call, send messages, and continue the vicious cycle in my mind.  Anxiety. I feel upside down whenever I go deeper in the dark forest of stress and worry. How can I manage to end the storm within? I put on the sounds of waves, but no relief comes of this because I cannot concentrate. I can’t meditate when my mind jumps like this. I research ways to cope