How to Get Someone Mental Help When They Refuse?

It can be difficult to see a loved one struggle with their mental health issues and feel helpless. How to get someone mental help when they refuse? Is it possible to force someone to seek treatment? Read on for the answers.
how to get someone mental help when they refuse

Things to Remember

  • The only way to get someone to treat their mental illness is by convincing them to do so, even if it takes time
  • If they pose a direct risk to themselves or others, they can be involuntarily taken to a mental health facility. However, this should be the last resort – there are legal and financial consequences for the person receiving treatment 🏥
  • Offer support in ways they accept, like talking about their mental health or offering advice from your own experiences ✔️
  • Inform yourself on resources – research available therapists in the area and any financial aid programs that may help cover costs of care ✔️

Why Do They Refuse to Get Help?

Before we answer the question, “how to get someone mental help when they refuse?”, let’s put ourselves in their shoes for a moment.

Why Do They Refuse to Get Help?

Here’s why some people may refuse help:

  • Denial: Many individuals with mental illnesses are in denial about their ailment. They might not think they’re unwell, or believe their symptoms are too minor to warrant medical attention. Make an effort to persuade them that their symptoms are real and that medication can help.
  • Shame: They could think that getting help is a sign of weakness or that they’ll be dismissed as crazy if they do. Reassure them that receiving therapy can help them feel better and that having a mental illness is nothing to be embarrassed of.
  • Cost: Some people are unable to pay the high costs of mental health services. There are often sliding-scale pricing choices or other financial assistance programs available if someone needs support but is unable to pay for it.
  • Fear: For them, seeking assistance could be frightening. They can be terrified of being admitted to the hospital or a mental institution – and the financial repercussions of that.
  • Lack of access: In some parts of the world, mental health services are simply not available.

Reassure your friend or relative that the goal of treatment is to improve rather than punish them. Be patient and realize that a person suffering from a mental illness might not be able or ready to ask for assistance. So how to get someone mental help when they refuse?

Can You Force Someone to Get Help?

There are times when the circumstances are so dire that you may feel you have no choice but to coerce someone into receiving treatment. How to get mental help for someone when they refuse, and can those suffering from mental diseases be forced to receive treatment?

In most situations, a person can only be subjected to involuntary commitment or treatment if it’s determined that they pose a risk to themselves or others. If you reside in the United States, you can speak with your local NAMI office to find out more about the rules in your state. When someone is in immediate danger, pushing them into therapy could be the only option to stop further harm.

There is also another factor that you should consider before trying to force someone into treatment. Research has shown that people who are coerced into therapy are less likely to comply with treatment and more likely to drop out prematurely. So, while you may feel like you’re doing the right thing by forcing someone into treatment, it may not be the best course of action, and they may not accept help from you. A person must be ready to get psychiatric help.

How to Get Someone Mental Help When They Refuse to Seek It?

If you feel like it’s necessary, how to get someone mental help when they refuse? There are still things you can do to support and help your loved one.

  1. Tell them you’re here for them and that you’d approve of their decision to seek help.
  2. Assist them in looking up local therapists or psychiatrists.
  3. Once they’ve made the decision, help them schedule an appointment with a mental health professional.
  4. If they’re feeling nervous, you might volunteer to go to their appointment with them to provide support.
  5. Encourage them to take their medication or attend their therapy sessions.
  6. Seek out support from friends or family members, or join a group for those who care for persons with mental illnesses.

By following these steps, you can take some of the burden off their shoulders. How to get someone mental help when they refuse? We know that you can’t force them, but encouragement goes a long way.

How to Get Someone Mental Help When They Refuse to Seek It?

Understand and Validate People With Mental Health Problems

Understanding the symptoms of someone with mental health issues is crucial for supporting them. Each individual experiences mental illness differently, and it can take many different forms. Bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression are some of the most common mental disorders.

Living with a mental illness is hard, but understanding mental health disorders is a difficult task, but very often, this is the best you can do to help them. Frequently, people with mental issues feel lonely and misunderstood. So, if you want to help someone, try to understand them. Find ways to support them and be open to a conversation.

Practice Being Supportive 🤝

Imagine your loved one is going through clinical depression. They don’t have the strength to get out of the bed, much less seek treatment. Which of the following statements would be better to say to them?

A:  “Why don’t you just get up and make an appointment? It’s easy once you make the first step!”

B: “Hey, I am here for you. Tell me what I can do to help make this easier for you.” 

C: “It’s okay, you can lie there all day if you want.”

The correct answer is B. Showing your support is the best way to encourage your loved one to fight for themselves. Even if they say “leave me alone,” they’ll actually feel less alone knowing that you understand their struggle.

How and When to Talk to Them About Seeking Help?

How to get someone mental help when they refuse, and what not to do? Don’t pressure, embarrass, or coerce anybody into getting mental health care. This will only make them resistant to the idea and hinder any progress that could be made. Instead, work to create a welcoming environment for the individual. Show them that you’re concerned for their well-being and wish to assist in their recovery.

It can be challenging to discuss mental health difficulties. Here are some suggestions if you’re unsure on how to start the conversation:

  • Decide on a good time: Try to bring up the subject while the person is relaxed and cheerful. Do not attempt it if they’re already angry or upset.
  • To the point: Inform the person that you are worried about their well-being and that you would like to assist them in getting the support they require.
  • Listen: Let the individual express their feelings and thoughts. Don’t criticize or debate them. Just make an effort to understand their perspective.
  • Follow up: Once they’ve sought help, check back in with the person.
How and When to Talk to Them About Seeking Help?

When a loved one is facing difficulty, we often feel the need to swoop in and take action – but this isn’t always possible. The best way you can help them through their difficulties is by being there for them and offering support on their journey back to well-being.

FAQ – Helping Someone With a Mental Health Disorder

How Do You Get a Delusional Person to Seek Help?

Navigating conversations with someone who has delusions can be tricky. Instead of trying to dispute the facts, focus on their emotions and how they perceive reality. Let them know that you care deeply about them and are willing to seek professional help together if it will ease any distress they may be feeling.

How Do You Convince a Psychotic Person to Seek Help?

If a person is struggling with psychosis, listen to them and don’t judge their experiences, or they might shut down. The best way to help is by showing that you care. Letting them know they’re not alone can make all the difference – offer your presence during their first appointment or throughout recovery if possible. Even if they don’t feel ready to seek help now, keep an open channel of communication available should things change down the line.

Who Do You Call for a Psychotic Episode?

If someone is in the middle of a psychotic episode and you’re afraid they might harm themselves or others, call 911 right away. If the situation is less urgent and you would like to get them help, contact a mental health professional or psychiatric facility in your area. You can also call an emergency hotline such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for guidance on what to do next.

What Not to Say When Someone Is Psychotic?

Don’t criticize or blame them for their behavior. Avoid denying what they say or arguing with them about facts, but don’t confirm their delusion, either. Instead, try to provide a calm and reassuring atmosphere. Direct confrontation isn’t recommended.

Can You Help Someone Who Won’t Help Themselves?

Even letting someone know you are there for them when needed could mean the world to them. Plus, accompanying them somewhere related to getting help may give an extra boost in morale! Despite how little progress might appear at first glance, small steps toward improvement have the potential to make a huge positive difference in one’s life. Keep hanging on no matter what happens, offer to help with chores or whatever might be troubling them at the time.

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