A Balanced Life: 9 Strategies for Coping with the Mental Health Problems of a Loved One

Overview


The ultimate goal of those with a mental disorder and the people who love them is balance: emotional, mental, spiritual, and behavioral. Yet, living with and responding to a mentally ill person often leads to the chaos of a relationship where the rules change, the dynamics are volatile, and the expectations are unanchored.

In readable, down-to-earth prose, A Balance Life teaches family and friends what they can expect from those they love who have mental health problems. It ...

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A Balanced Life: Nine Strategies for Coping with the Mental Health Problems of a Loved One

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Overview


The ultimate goal of those with a mental disorder and the people who love them is balance: emotional, mental, spiritual, and behavioral. Yet, living with and responding to a mentally ill person often leads to the chaos of a relationship where the rules change, the dynamics are volatile, and the expectations are unanchored.

In readable, down-to-earth prose, A Balance Life teaches family and friends what they can expect from those they love who have mental health problems. It offers nine clear-cut strategies for implementing a plan to support them, including how to: assist a loved one in developing healthy self-esteem accept mental illness as a fact of life identify early warning signs that precede a more difficult phase of the illness create a supportive network of family and friends

Each strategy is illustrated by inspiring stories of real people who have put the principles into practice, and is followed by key questions that ask to ponder their own situations. This is the to bringing order to chaos, providing a framework for reactions to the person who has a mental illness. It clarifies expectations and offers advice and encouragement.

Tom Smith is the cofounder of the Karla Smith Foundation, which supports parents and loved ones of mentally ill people. He is author of several articles and books, including God on the Job and Alive in the Spirit.

"A unique blend of inspiration, compassion, and practical advice, every person coming to grips with the mental health problems of a loved one deserves to hear the message of hope, love, and faith infused within this book." Kim T. Mueser, Ph.D., co-author of The Family Intervention Guide to Mental Illness

"Effective, practical strategies for families and friends of people who struggle with mental illness. Each chapter is punctuated by real stories of hope, as well as questions for discussion or personal reflection. A handy, useful toolkit." Herbert E Mandell, M.D., National Medical Director of Kids Peace

"An invaluable resource. I wish my own loved ones had had it sooner, and I'll be sharing it with them now. Highly recommended." Marya Hornbacher, author of Madness: A Bipolar Life

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

In his poignant second book, Smith (The Tattered Tapestry: A Family's Search for Peace with Bipolar Disorder) aims to help the millions of people affected by a friend or family member's mental illness. Through extensive research and his own experience with his daughter's mental illness and subsequent suicide, he suggests nine strategies for coping, including helping loved ones find and continue to take their medication, urging them to maintain a supportive relationship with a therapist, and recognizing the warning signs. Other strategies involve the caretaker's learning all about the loved one's disease, taking care of him/herself, and becoming involved in support networks. Smith provides empathetic information that has the potential to buoy people up. Highly recommended for all libraries.


—Deborah Bigelow
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592856626
  • Publisher: Hazelden Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/5/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 1,431,189
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.38 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Smith is the cofounder of the Karla Smith Foundation which supports parents and loved ones of mentally ill people. He is the author of several articles and books, including God on the Job and Alive in the Spirit.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Preface     xi
Introduction     1
Medication     13
Counseling     29
Education     45
Self-Esteem     61
Acceptance     73
Self-Care     85
Intentional Networks     95
Warning Signs     109
Faith     119
Types of Mental Disorders     131
Substance Use Disorders     137
The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous     143
Notes     145
About the Author     147
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