It can be hard to watch your spouse deal with a mental illness. You know what his or her potential is, and you know what he or she is like when not having a mental episode. You love your spouse and you only want the best for him or her. If you feel the best thing would be to go to a mental health center, but your spouse refuses to go, what can you do about it?
You’re not going to make any improvements by getting excited, angry or upset with your spouse. He or she is already dealing with enough inside the head, and doesn’t need you to complicate the situation. Remain calm and be patient with your spouse. There’s an unfortunate negative stigma with psychotherapy and mental health assistance, so it could take some time for your spouse to come around and see that it could be helpful.
Recommend a Single Appointment
If your spouse is hesitant to commit to an onslaught of therapy sessions and mental health treatments, that’s understandable. Let your spouse know you’re concerned about his or her mental well-being and see if he or she would be willing to visit a psychotherapist just once. The point of this meeting could be for your peace of mind as much as it is for your spouse’s well-being. If the spouse commits to a single appointment, he or she may see that it’s not so bad after all, and could actually enjoy the relief it brings. This could prompt him or her to seek more assistance.
If your spouse is struggling with public situations, don’t force him or her to attend a big social event. If your spouse has a problem with being away from home for too long, don’t plan a vacation right now. If self-esteem is an issue, refrain from putting him or her in a situation in which comparing with others would become an issue. Trying to be the doctor for your spouse isn’t going to help the situation. You probably don’t understand the psychological effects of mental illness like a doctor would, and trying to carry out “treatment” on your own could make your spouse emotionally retreat.
Getting Professional Help
If you feel your spouse could benefit from mental health assistance, but he or she won’t do it, you may be understandably frustrated. Contacting a therapist with experience in couples counseling in Reston, VA from a skilled group like Lindsey Hoskins & Associates, can provide you direction on what you can do to encourage your spouse, rather than making the situation worse.