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Three Sources of Mental Health Support

Mental health support, Family support, Pets

When you are experiencing the symptoms of a mental health disorder, it can feel as though no one really understands what you are going through. You might feel embarrassed or like you are being judged by others—and so you might try to hide what is going on from those around you. It can be a lonely feeling, which is pretty unlikely to help you feel better.

That is why it can be so important to know just who you can turn to when you feel like depression, anxiety, or another disorder has gotten ahold of you and won’t let go. Of course, your doctor or your therapist is the best place to start. Getting treatment for a mental health disorder is the best thing you can do for yourself to improve your quality of life.

But for this blog entry, we will assume you have already had a conversation with a mental health professional. We want to focus on other connections you might make when times seem particularly tough.

Let’s start with one of the people closest to you.

Counting on a Family Member for Support

Is there a person in your family who seems to have a real understanding of—and empathy for—what you are going through? If so, that person might be a perfect person to reach out to when you are struggling more than you would like. This person might be your spouse or partner, a sibling, a parent, or even someone a few branches away on the family tree. As long as the family member is not a gossip or otherwise problematic, they can be a wonderful source of support.

If you have a good, honest connection, spending time with that person might help alleviate some of the symptoms you are experiencing. Whether you spend time talking, engaging in an activity you both enjoy, or simply sit quietly, a family member can be a great comfort when a mental health disorder is upending your days. 

Be prepared to return the favor if your family member ever finds themselves struggling. That sort of relationship is far stronger and healthier than one in which one family member is always in crisis and the other is always trying to take care of them.

Counting on a Friend for Support

In many ways, everything we just shared about connecting with a family member applies to connecting with a friend as well. After all, your good friends are your chosen family—and so they can fill much the same role in your life that a family member does. 

But this is probably a good spot to make a distinction between healthy friendships and toxic friendships. Too many people maintain relationships with people who are mean or belittling or overly competitive about every little thing. Those sorts of friendships do not serve you or your mental health. In fact, we would advise you to step away from those kinds of relationships and to double down on your high-quality friendships that feature mutual respect and support. Doing so provides a boost to your mental health.

We should also note that we are not talking about social media “friends.” We are talking about the kind of friend who will pick up the phone for you day or night—and for whom you would do the same.

Counting on a Pet for Support

Maybe you already have a furry (or not so furry) friend—a dog, a cat, a bunny, a lizard, a fish, or what have you—that you dote on. Pets provide unconditional love (well, admittedly some animals are better at this than others, but still) and can be good listeners when you are not really looking for someone to offer advice.

Caring for a pet can also support your mental health. Studies show that playing with them or petting them is a great way to reduce stress, increase feelings of relaxation, and even lower your blood pressure. Having a pet also helps to ward off loneliness and boredom, and in some cases your pet’s need for physical activity can mean you get more exercise, too. That increased level of activity is good for your physical and mental health.

We Are Ready and Able to Support Your Mental Health

If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or another mental health disorder, Johnstown Heights Behavioral Health can help. Located in Johnstown, Colorado, Johnstown Heights Behavioral Health offers evidence-based, personalized treatment for mental health disorders

Our staff members are highly trained, have years of experience, and approach their work with a spirit of empathy. We specialize in treatment for adults and adolescent girls, and we strive to help each person we serve improve their mental well-being and maintain those improvements over time.

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About programs offered at Johnstown Heights Behavioral Health

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