Wanting to help | Caregiver Action Network

Wanting to help

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Wanting to help

Older brother has given up on seeing his therapist and taking his medications, saying they didn’t help him at all anyways. How can I encourage him to talk to a doctor about other medications and find a new a therapist without being too pushy or judge?

Just give him some break

Just give him some break first. Then maybe in some time, explain to him again and slowly persuade him about seeing a doctor. What is he suffering from anyways?

One of the things that helped

One of the things that helped me encourage my family in that way was to start therapy myself. Then, I was was able to talk about how it helped me and what I was working on. It destigmitized it, because I was no longer saying "there is something wrong with you and you need help." Instead I was saying, "This was really helpful for me, so I wanted to share it with you." It also gave me insight into things like what a good or bad therapist looked like, how the experience felt, and it did give me support for what I was going through as a caregiver and family member of someone who was struggling with mental health challenges, so it was a win-win situation. 

When they shared that it wasn't working, I asked questions like "what wasn't working?" "It makes sense you don't want to do the same thing again when it didn't help, have you thought of some other ideas that would be helpful?" "What would a helpful therapist or psychiatrist look like" (for example, is he having side effects from the medicaiton, but not being listened to? When the medication isn't working to they just keep trying higher doeses instead of something else? Is he doing "talk therapy" and not getting much out of it, so a different therapeutic appraoch would be worth trying)?" Start by listening without an agenda to push him towards a specific solution, so that you are open to hearing what his challenges are and why that didn't work. Then your suggestions won't be to pushy because they will center his goals and needs.