Having a child with a mental illness can be challenging for many families but learning of a parent’s disorder can bring on a new set of challenges primarily because the parent takes on the primary role of caregiving. If caretaking responsibilities are compromised due to the parent’s mental illness, family members may need to adapt and take on varying roles to ensure the stability of the family. If you’ve just learned of your parent’s mental illness, know that there are many resources available to you to help your family maintain this; sometimes all it takes is learning more about the disorder and ways that you can help.
Resilience is a powerful force that can carry your family through challenging times; it is defined as “the ability to recover quickly from difficulties”. Whether you consider your family to be resilient or not, there are many things that can be learned or implemented to strengthen this. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Social Work sought to explore how families achieve resilience when a parent has been diagnosed with a mental illness; Eleven adults were recruited for the study, all of whom grew up in a household with a parent who had a mental illness. In-depth interviews were conducted, and researchers asked the participants questions related to what worked well for their family, what tough times were experienced, what happened with the family when times were going well, and more.
Several key actions were found to build family resilience:
- Shared humor
- Regular family rituals and routines
- Open communication about mental illness (in some cases)
- Maintaining a balance between stress, optimism, and strength
If your family hasn’t already, all of these can be amazing ways to build your resilience to stressful situations. Maintaining family stability is incredibly important, because as a family, your happiness and wellbeing is impacted by the strength of your family all as individuals, and as a whole. Another great option is for your family to attend family therapy; many reputable treatment centers will offer this to help your family identify barriers, miscommunication, and strategies to overcome these issues. Don’t wait any longer to seek the help you need. Your family’s wellbeing is worth it.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.