How to Cope With Adult Children That Have Mental Issues


Coping with an adult child with mental health issues, particularly if the adult child is living at home, can be challenging for any parent. The National Institute of Mental Health and the National Alliance on Mental Illness advise parents to become well informed on the issues affecting their son or daughter as well as to preserve their own boundaries and to seek encouragement from mental health professionals and support groups.

Discuss with mental health professionals your role as a parent. Your son or daughter will have to seek medical care on their own if they are able.

Draw clear boundaries between your adult child’s needs and your own. The Society for Social Work and Research advocates that parents learn how to care for their adult child while preserving their own requirements for calm, safety and personal time.

Instruct your your son or daughter in their responsibility of remaining in a treatment program and staying on their prescribed medications. In cases of severe illness such as bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress, major depression or schizophrenia, your adult child may be too ill to live at home.

Join a local support group. A support group will give you a sense of community and encouragement.

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