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You may find that the person that you are supporting does not always want to seek professional help when needed. This might be because that they can’t understand how unwell they are or because they would want to try and get better on their own. There might also be a lot of shame surrounding this, possibly also because of a previous negative experience with a health care professional. This may be very frustrating for you because you might feel that whatever you say or do with your relative is not working, which might cause a feeling of helplessness.
It is important to understand that nobody can force anyone over the age of 18 to seek professional help. What you can do is to try and understand why your relative does not want to be supported by a professional. You can do this by asking them how they feel, what they think will happen if they seek help, and whether they would be ready to go for an appointment if you accompany them. Explain that you will never force them as you cannot decide for them, but that you are worried and would like to see them doing well. It is very important to listen carefully, to give them enough time to talk, and to be patient so that your relative feels comfortable opening up to you.

Take a look at the next 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.