Mental Illness

Updated on January 21, 2011
D.S. asks from Chicago, IL
10 answers

How do I assisit an indivilual w/ mental illness and they are not aware of their condition?

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So What Happened?

I truly appreciate all of your responses. The woman in question is a client of mine and I have tried several (and then some) of you guy's suggestions. The trickiest part of this is the role I play in her case is not (technically) clinical/theraputic...I have to be mindful b/c I don't have a background in mental illness and she does have a therapist. I am one of maybe two people that she trusts (out of 10 to 12) on her case. She has been assigned a therapist that she sees on a regular basis. I donn't think her therapist is addressing her issues in an appropreiate manner...she seems, to me (I've sat in on her sessions before until she was able to trust the therapist) as if she feeds into her out-of-touch w/reality thoughts. I will let you all know how it works out...thanks again!

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answers from Chicago on

Good morning,

You can get in contact with the National Alliance on Mental Illness at for information.
If you are in McHenry County in Illinois you can call
NAMI McHenry County at ###-###-####.

McHenry County Crisis Line 1-###-###-####.


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answers from Chicago on

Unfortunately I will give you advice you probably don't want to hear as you probably want to help the world or at least this person. Do what you are required to do with this client and as long as she is safe(if not and you feel she may harm self or others call 911) and walk away. If you take on every person who intrigues you or hits a button you will no longer be present for your life, your child or husband and you made a commitment to them first. So the advice is walk away.

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answers from Peoria on

Perhaps you can start with empathetic remarks on his/her bad days like, "Gosh, you sound like you have a lot on your plate. Have you ever considered talking to anyone about it?" Maybe if you can help that person talk to a counselor, the counselor could make the diagnosis.

My mother suffers from several mental illnesses. I know how challenging it can be to not get upset with the person suffering. It can totally take you over, so be careful with your decisions. Sometimes mentally unstable people find a person and really latch onto them. It is hard to not want to "fix" a person you see suffering, but there are professionals who can help.




answers from Chicago on

I would talk to a professional to get advice on this because it is such a sensative topic. Also, build a solid trusting relation where they will relflect on themselves to the point that they may find themselves likely to get that kind of suppot. Ask questions about what they think or how they feel would be my suggesgetions, but make sure conversation is a dialogue and not a monologue. When they are ready they will get the help to change.



answers from Chicago on

Hi! It is very easy for us who work with people which I have done for most of my 35 year career to take a personal interest in a client or student. But sometimes, sooner than later, you have to give the situation over to those who may know more. If this person truly has psychiatric issues, I'd contact an agency such as Thresholds for advice. They may be able to direct the person as to a psychiatric assessment, possible meds, etc. Then you need to remember that your famly comes first. Good luck.



answers from Chicago on

Sometimes I work with someone who catches me at a vulnerable time and/or just triggers my own stuff.
I use a tool called EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) to clear worry, fear, grief, anger or any unwanted feelings I may have. Even my children know & use it.
If you are interested this Sunday 4/26 at 2pm a free 2 hour workshop will be offered by Advanced EFT Practitioner, Tom Masbaum at the Garrett Wellness Center 3020 N Kimball.



answers from Champaign on

I have a close friend who had some issues caused by a brain aneurysm. Things were very difficult. There are places where they can get help with cleaning their home, running errands, grocery shopping etc. Make sure that they are not taking advantage of her and doing their job. Have some one else be over her budget. (You don't want to have to worry about her bills.) If you can only do one day or two a week let her know that and then have her write it on a calendar. If she goes to church see if there are people that can help with appointments etc. I took her shopping and had to know her ID#'s etc. So that I could reminder her. I would take her to the bank and check her account BEFORE we went out. Another friend took her to dr. appts and I would fill in with other days or other errands. She got help with her laundry one day a week. She ended up getting help with her house cleaning but the lady took advantage and would take her out to eat or shopping instead of cleaning. (which caused her more money issues) That then left me cleaning it with my 3 children and me preg. Her son did not help.
She ended up having cancer and moving back in with her parents and is now not expected to make it much longer.

I hope this can help. Just remember to set the things you can help her with and have others help.



answers from Chicago on

Your post is pretty vague so I'm not sure what you need. Having worked in a middle school for nine years and also having to deal with children and parents that needed much assitance, I found that I had to set boundaries that my students and parents understood. I was always very kind, but I made sure that my kids knew that they shouldn't call me at home unless it was an absolute emergency and then it would have to be a short call. I explained that i had a family and they deserved as much attention as I could give them. I often made appointments with my kids so that they knew my time was valuable.

I would think that the people you work for would know whom to refer you to about this client. I would ask your supervisor for advice.



answers from Seattle on

You've sat in with her and her therapist before, so do you have or could you get a current release of information for contact? If the client is agreeable, I would tell the client that I would like to call the therapist periodically to check in and see how things are going, and I would call the therapist and explain my concerns - if the the client is the only source of info to the therapist, he/she might appreciate an outside perspective - how else would the therapist know she is out of touch with reality unless what the client is saying is bizzare, which is likely not the case - she could be presenting things that may be plausible, even if not reality-based. Ask the therapist if she would like periodic updates (if ok with the client), and then let it go. You can only do so much!



answers from Hickory on

aw it"s very hard-depending on the age of a child- my girl has adhd,bipolar-axcity and others. she knows she is different but she is a loving child.

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