We often talk about the child’s mental health but what about parents? How to Keep a Check On Your Parents’ Mental Health?
This article is essentially referring to children in their teenage, who have been developing a basic understanding of mental well-being.
Mental Health is under the umbrella of stigmas, and mental health advocates have long been looking forward to bring it out of the stigmatized zones. And while we have come to a ground where people have started to dwell in a conversation regarding mental health, there are certain groups that are still struggling to have the understanding and access of mental health. We have seen a lot of discussions around a child’s mental health, how parents should be understanding the child’s trauma and help them in their mental well-being. But have we talked much about parent’s mental health? Don’t they go through trauma and mental health issues? Well, there is no doubt that parents have several things that can be a toll on their mental health, and children, as they become sensible can be the best person to help their parents in their bad times. Here is how to keep a check on your parents’ mental health.
How to keep a check on your parent’s Mental Health
1. Knowing and identifying if something is wrong or not
The first and foremost step of helping your parents would be identifying what are the problems. Parents often try not to tell and involve children in their problems. But as a growing child, you can offer a hand and show them the trust that you try to understand their problems. For a parent, reasons for poor mental health can be diverse. It can be from finances, relationships, family problems to parenting itself. In such a case, they might be needing someone to discuss it. And otherwise, there can be chronic mental health disorders too, which would be needing special help. And if the second one is the case, for you to help your parents, and yourself too, try reading about the signs and symptoms of different mental health illnesses.
2. Help them in reach out, seek medical help
Parents often have a nature of ignoring their problems, especially a problem like that of a mental health disorder. But you, as a child should help them understand the need of reaching out for medical support for any symptoms of mental health disorder. Do some research for them, list out a few mental health centers for your parents, or make an appointment for them. Help them know the importance of going out for therapy/ treatment.
3. Maintaining a supportive atmosphere at home
Parents, especially those whose mental health is affected by external factors like finances, job, relationship, etc, more than anything, need the support and trust of the family. Just a peaceful environment and supportive behaviour can be of a lot more help. It can be as simple as not forcing them to buy you an expensive diary when you can just work fine with an ordinary one. It can be as simple as giving them a glass of water as they come home and asking them how are they doing.
4. Reinforcing positive self-esteem and emotional support
Poor mental health can affect your parents in ways in which they will lose confidence in themselves. Yet, they will be in their want and need to get that back. Reinforcing self-esteem can be a very important step in supporting your parents.
5. How to know when to help?
This question is the most relevant one and you will perhaps start knowing it. Keep your eye open for observations like –
– losing interest in activities and conversations of their interests
– constantly irritated, angry, numb or sad
– feeling tired and exhausted all the time
– change in the eating habits
– change in the sleeping patterns
– anxious or terrified
– consuming substances (alcohol/ drugs etc) regularly
– they are avoiding conversations etc.
If you see sudden changes in them for long, then trust your instincts and try to reach out to them. Offer a hand of support and be kind to your parents.
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