It’s not uncommon for the person experiencing the symptoms of mental illness to view their situation differently than their family views it. The experience of having a mental illness can be a traumatic experience in and of itself and each person has to find a way to cope with the effects of that trauma, all while they are trying to navigate treatment their symptoms. Education programs such as those provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) teach the person and the family about the stages of learning to cope with the impact that mental illness has on each person involved. Recognizing that we each see things differently and keeping the focus on what is needed to help the person with the mental illness to do well is critical to successful treatment. Having a clinician who also understands that occasional disagreement between patient and family is typical, and who doesn’t give up on either is essential to optimal recovery. Many conflicts can be addressed over time, the important point is to keep the person and the family engaged in the treatment process.
Encourage the individuals you are working with and their families to learn more by visiting NAMI Programs.