Mental illness is a very serious medical problem that needs to be recognized; accepted and treated just you would deal with any other kind of medical condition. Sadly, most people do not take mental illness seriously when they themselves experience it nor do they pay much attention to it when a loved one is suffering from mental illness. Most often, someone suffering from mental illness will be too shy or afraid to open up about it and speak to someone about their feelings because it is a common situation where people with mental illness are brushed off and told to get over themselves. If you are a victim of mental illness yourself, it is important to speak to someone you love and trust in the hope that they will help you, however, even in the case that they do not help you, it is important to stay strong and seek out professional help because in most cases, mental illness will only get worse and not better without professional help.
Helping a loved one to cope
If you have a loved one who you suspect is suffering from mental illness or who has recently told you that they are suffering from mental illness, it is important that you accept and understand their problem after which it is vital that you take them to see a professional psychologist. There are many things that you can do in the meanwhile to help your friend to cope as assuring them that you understand how they feel and telling them that seeking help will make them feel better soon.
At first you may find that you are confused about whether to take your friend to a psychiatrist or a psychologist as most people do not know the difference between the two professions. The truth is that there is a difference. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor like any other doctor who has been trained in medical school about mental illness while the latter will have a degree in a related field however will not be recognized as a doctor and therefore will not be able to prescribe any kind of medication.
If you suspect that your friends issue is serious, then it is advisable to take them directly to a psychiatrist who will be able to treat the illness correctly with the right kinds of medication. One important piece of advice e that you can give your friend is to write in a journal and you can even help them to join a support group.