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Supporting a relative with a chronic mental illness can sometimes be very challenging, especially if they live in the same home. Caring for someone on a daily basis may sometimes cause practical and emotional difficulties. In fact, it is very common for carers to feel overwhelmed in the face of such difficulties and to struggle to find the best way to help their relative.
The person you may care for might have very complex behaviour, which might cause a lot of stress between you and your relative. However, it is important to remember that there isn’t a perfect way to support someone; and that first and foremost; you need to take care of your own well-being before you can take care of someone else. You can do this by understanding what you can and cannot do, knowing your limitations, and knowing when to seek professional help. It is also beneficial to give yourself time to do what you enjoy doing such as a hobby or a leisure activity. Keep an eye on your own health and take care of your physical and mental health by maintaining a healthy diet and engaging in physical exercise. You can also join a support group where you can meet people who are going through similar experiences.

Take a look at the second part of this blog for more information about this topic.

– Claire is a gestalt psychotherapist at Willingness. She works with adolescents and adults. She has a special interest in mental health. She can be contacted on claire@willingness.com.mt.