Recovery Trust Forum

Mental Illness Guide: Care, Support, and Education
The Recovery Trust home page
[Home] [Support Group] [Ask an Expert] [What's New] [Search] [Help]

 

 

Why do I need friends and family?

The need for love and support

Most people need love and friendship and to feel that they belong.  Feeling loved and feeling that you belong with people you love often helps you feel good, and that will help you stay healthy.  Having someone to talk with can add much to your life. 

When you care about other people and help them in their lives, it makes your own life better.  By helping others, many people find a purpose in everyday living.

Mental illness often makes it tougher to talk with family, friends, and others.  You may find you have a hard time telling people your thoughts or understanding what others are saying.  Making new friends can be especially tough.

Be patient with yourself.  As you continue with your treatment, the symptoms that are causing these problems will improve.  And it will be easier for you to talk with your family members and friends.

Most friends and family want to help

Most people want to help friends with mental illness, but sometimes find it hard to do so.  Many people with mental illness do not feel comfortable talking to friends about their illness.  If you talk about your illness with your friends, you are likely to find that:

bullet

Your friendships may grow stronger.

bullet

You will receive support and acceptance.

bullet

Your friends will help you with chores, transportation, finances and the like.

How to make friends

New friendships often begin when people have similar interests.  Here are a few ideas to help you meet new friends:

bullet

Contact friends you have made through Colorado Recovery.

bullet

Join a club (art, music, books, etc.).  Your therapist can help you find a club like this.

bullet

Share your hobbies with others.  If you play cards, teach someone how to play.

bullet

Do volunteer work at your church or synagogue.

bullet

Be open to friendship while you are at your meeting, class or work.

bullet

Participate in a sport at the YMCA.  You might start with a swimming lesson.

bullet

One of the best ways to meet people is simply to get involved in activities.  But remember to pace yourself.  It is just as important for you to rest as it is that you keep busy.

Learn more about how to meet people