Responding to unusual behaviour
If you have a friend or family member with a mental illness, some of their behaviour might worry you. This section suggests some ways to deal with unusual behaviour.
- Unusual behaviour in a relative is often the hardest part of mental illness for people to understand, accept and cope with.
- There are lots of reasons why people do things. Not everything your relative does is because of their illness.
- All situations and relationships are different. What works for you might not work for someone else.
- You may have to change your approach when your relative’s moods change.
- It can take time for things to change. It can help to keep trying and to be positive.
- You might find it helpful to keep a record of the things you have tried, and whether you thought they were helpful or unhelpful.
- Not all of our suggestions will work for you. In these pages you can dind a checklist you can use to make your own guide.
- Some carer support groups talk about unusual behaviour and may offer suggestions or emotional support. You could try to find a group near you or start your own.
This section covers:
- How are behaviour and mental health related?
- What are delusions?
- How can I help with low motivation?
- What if my relative withdraws from other people?
- How can I respond to aggression and anger?
- How can I help with anxiety?
- What can I do about risky behaviour?
- What if my relative becomes over-dependent?
- Is lying part of mental illness?
- What about social media, texts and emails?
- How can I get help for my relative?
- What support can I get?
These pages are created by Rethink Mental Illness' Advice Service in accordance with the Information Standard. Last reviewed in November 2016. Next review November 2019.
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