If the person refuses support
Some support people say they experienced great difficulty and frustration when trying to get the person to acknowledge that support was needed. The person may deny they have a problem or the person may believe that things aren’t very bad and they will improve on their own, with time, and without professional support.
As with most health conditions, it’s important to have the problem assessed and if necessary, get the appropriate treatment as soon as possible. If the person denies that anything is wrong, this may be because of feelings of embarrassment or shame about the possibility they are experiencing a mental health condition. Alternatively, the person may dread having to discuss their thoughts and feelings with the doctor or may be unaware of their unusual behaviour.
In these instances, some support people have solved the problem by focusing on particular physical symptoms the person is experiencing such as sleeping problems, change in appetite or lack of energy.
The person may find it easier to discuss physical symptoms openly with the doctor at first, and then lead onto the emotional symptoms being experienced.
If this doesn’t work and the person is still refusing to seek support, you may have to accept that there is only so much that you can do, and that this may not yet be the right time for the person to get support. This is also true of other conditions where people won’t seek support until it gets to the stage when they can no longer tolerate the symptoms or manage from day to day.
If this is the case, while you need to continue being supportive, all you can do is make the information available and be open to discuss things when the person is ready. Meanwhile, you need to look after yourself. Be aware that there’s a tendency for supporters to readjust their lives around the condition and in doing so, they may inadvertently prolong the period that the person with the condition denies needing support.