If someone close to you is suffering from a psychiatric disorder in California, you may feel helpless and alone. Whether it is their first bout or a recurring condition, it is important to know that many are in your same situation. At Disability Rights Law Center, we understand the sensitive considerations involved in having a loved one living with a mental illness. 

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, each year one in five American adults faces a mental illness. This category encompasses a broad variety of diagnoses, including bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, dissociative disorder and psychosis. Sometimes, the person afflicted suffers so much that it impedes their ability to live and work as usual. 

Since when your family member, partner or close friend suffers from one of these psychiatric disorders it greatly affects you as well, there are several things you can do to make yourself feel more empowered. First, be sure to educate yourself as much as possible about the illness. This may entail reaching out to mental health associations and reading various literature on the disorder. Attending local or online support groups may benefit you greatly. 

It is also vital for you to try to get your loved one to seek the appropriate medical care. When possible, help facilitate any necessary arrangements so they can receive consistent treatment. And, if work becomes impossible for your loved one because of the severity of the illness, know that they may qualify for social security disability benefits. More information about this topic is available on our web page.