Mental illness can be hard to cope with. If someone develops a serious mental health condition, they will need a lot of help and support to deal with it. The services offered often do not seem to be enough and you, the carer, may need support to help you cope.

Carers Bucks’ support workers are available to talk to you over the phone if you need someone to speak to. We may also be able arrange for you to have counselling or some therapies to help you relax.

 You may find attending a support group helpful as you will meet other people who are coping with similar situations, as well as hear speakers on mental health issues. Carers Bucks runs support groups in High Wycombe and Aylesbury once a month for carers of people with mental health conditions. There is also a support group which runs in Beaconsfield by Rethink.

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust supports carers and runs courses which you may find helpful.

Sometimes it may take time for a complete diagnosis to be made you may be given the names of the symptoms rather than an actual condition eg psychosis or paranoia. The following is a list of symptoms and actual conditions. Some people may have more than one of these disorders:

  • Depression – all types
  • Psychosis
  • Paranoia
  • Schizophrenia
  • Affective disorder
  • Bipolar disorder (manic depression)
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Personality disorders
  • Drug dependence
  • Alcohol dependence

If you are supporting someone who suffers from these kind of disorders you may welcome help in knowing how best to communicate with them. Communication works best when straightforward and friendly but not emotional. Understanding what to expect and what is normal for someone with these disorders is very helpful.