@roseisnotaplant I agree. Talking about it in general terms is something I've tried to do with my family to gage their views, improve their understanding and hopefully someday be able to talk more about my own experiences.
I think a good way to start is finding sneaky ways to start a conversation about it, eg. if they see something on TV, online, in the news or whatever and starting with general comments and questions can definitely be a good way to go.
As frustrating as it can be, I think it's important to remember that sometimes they have different reasons and backgrounds and influences for why they see things the way they do and whilst it's good and important to have these conversations and help with their understanding, getting really emotional and aggressive towards them isn't always a helpful way to improve their understanding - trust me! Keep it a conversation.
Good night @May_!
And yeah, definitely - not all family is biological. I have a couple of friends who have been there for me unconditionally, and I'd consider them more like sisters.
My freedom is an agreement with myself. It's an acceptance and love for who I am that isn't dependent on performance or the will of other people - Renee Yohe
How can you normalise talking about mental health with your family?
One way to do it is to take it slow and even start by asking questions. Instead of talking about what they think about mental illness, ask them about what they reckon is important to do to have good mental health. If things are tough for you, then it's okay to let them know, but you can also let them know what you have decided to do about it too.
I've talked to a bunch of people in this community about telling their parent's about a mental illness where it's gone great! Sometimes families aren't perfect though and might not be very understanding, at least at first. I think when it gets to that point it's time to get some support, from us or from other people who can help you out
Stuff that's happening on the forums:
- Help us do some research and get a chance to win stuff!
@Stealth_ninja I think talking about symptoms is a really great idea...even just a convo about how physical symptoms can have mental causes (e..g being tired and getting headaches from stress) can make mental illness more relatable. In the end symptoms of mental illnesses are just thoughts and behaviours that exist on the same continuum as 'normal' symptoms.
@FootyFan26 yeah fair enough my grandma is super arthritic and after her stroke she's always been sort of disoriented, so it's not easy talking to her. I try to call her every week to chat but it's definitely not easy at times
With my younger siblings I can talk to them about mental health stuff by asking how they are and helping to recognise when they need extra help, a lot of my siblings have anxiety and one my brothers has an Abi (or a tbi) I kinda get confused, I'm not sure where that is, in terms if it's disability or mental health but yeah just checking in on them and letting them know it's ok to not be ok
Yeah my parents kinda kept breeding :/
Our next question is:
Do any of your family members discuss their mental health with you? What can you do to help other family members suffering from a mental illness?
Though there's already a lot of good discussion going around on this, especially with regards to our younger sibs!