Friendships and Mental Health Challenges
Friendships can be instrumental to a healthy sense of well-being. Feeling connected to others is a wonderful feeling that can play a huge role on our sense of happiness and joy in life. Knowing we’ve got support from people who care (even if it’s only one friend) is like a security blanket we can rely on. However, friends can also be unhealthy for us if the relationship is one based on co-dependency or if one friend is in a negative spiral of something like addiction or other destructive behaviors, so we need to be aware of our friendships and how healthy they are.
I found the below article that offered some interesting tips where friendships and mental health are concerned, and I agree with the suggestions. They seem geared more toward younger people, but they can definitely apply to people of all ages, and they made me think of other ways that healthy friendships can help keep us mentally healthy (and physically, for that matter).
I want to add to this that being your own best friend is something we often aren’t taught – the reality that caring for yourself is every bit as important as caring for others is. After all, we can only help others and society to the degree that we take care of ourselves. Burn-out happens when you take care of others at the price of your own wellness. People in the care-giving and social work industries know all about this.
No matter what you might have learned, remember this: Taking care of yourself is just as important as helping anyone else.
Here’s an excerpt from the original article:
How Friendships Can Be a Powerful Force in Supporting Mental Health
In the wake of the shocking deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain in June, suicide prevention is at the top of everyone’s minds these days. While we may never have the answers for what caused these tragedies and whether they could have been prevented, we do know one powerful truth: Emotional support from friends is key for those struggling with mental health issues. And while a general sense of social connection can provide a barrier against depression and anxiety, for many of us, it’s the deeper relationships with caring and compassionate friends that truly make the difference.