How to Deal with Mental Illness: Tips and Tricks

Dealing with mental illness can be difficult, but there are many tips and tricks that can help. Regardless of the specific mental illness, there are common strategies that can be useful in managing symptoms, maintaining relationships, and fostering emotional wellbeing.

Establish a Relationship with a Mental Health Professional

Perhaps the most important tip for dealing with mental illness is to establish a relationship with a mental health professional. Whether seeing a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist, a mental health professional can help you manage symptoms, address root causes, and provide support and guidance. To establish a relationship with a mental health professional, ask for recommendations from friends or family, conduct online research to find a provider in your area, and schedule an initial consultation to assess fit and compatibility.

Take Medications As Prescribed

If you have been prescribed medications to manage your mental illness, it is important to take them as directed. Skipping doses or stopping medications abruptly can lead to worsened symptoms and setbacks in treatment progress. Additionally, it is important to communicate with your prescribing provider about any side effects or concerns you may have, as these can often be addressed through medication adjustments or clinical support.

Pursue Therapy for Emotional Support

In addition to medication management, pursuing therapy for emotional support can be incredibly helpful when coping with mental illness. Therapy can provide a safe and private space for discussing issues related to your mental health, as well as teach coping strategies and new behavioral patterns. To find a therapist, use online search tools, ask for referrals from your primary care provider, or look for community mental health clinics that offer low-cost or sliding fee scale services.

Make Lifestyle Changes to Support Mental Health

Aside from medical and clinical interventions, making certain lifestyle changes can also support mental health and wellbeing. The following tips may be helpful:

Engage in Regular Exercise

Engaging in regular exercise is a natural way to support physical and mental health. Exercise has been shown to release endorphins and improve mood, increase energy levels and overall physical fitness, and reduce stress and anxiety.

Get Sufficient Sleep

Getting sufficient sleep each night is critical for managing mental health symptoms. Poor sleep hygiene can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety, and can also exacerbate symptoms of other mental health disorders. To optimize sleep, keep a consistent sleep schedule, avoid caffeine and alcohol several hours before bedtime, and engage in relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced diet is critical for supporting overall health and wellbeing. A nutritious diet that includes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources, and healthy fats can provide the body with important nutrients and support physical and mental health. Additionally, avoiding processed or sugary foods can reduce inflammation and improve energy levels.

Foster Supportive Relationships

Interpersonal relationships can play a powerful role in managing mental health symptoms. Supportive friends and family members can offer emotional support, provide feedback and perspective, and serve as sources of encouragement and motivation. Additionally, maintaining social connections can reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can be particularly problematic for people struggling with mental illness.

Communicate Your Needs

When it comes to maintaining relationships that support mental health, communication is key. Be clear and honest with your loved ones about your needs and preferences, and communicate how they can best support you. Encourage your loved ones to ask questions and provide feedback, and work collaboratively to build a relationship that supports mutual trust and understanding.

Practice Assertiveness

Being able to make decisions and assert your own needs is critical for managing mental illness, particularly when dealing with difficult or challenging interpersonal situations. Practice asserting your needs in a respectful and assertive manner, and recognize that asking for help or declining invitations is not a sign of weakness or failure.

Utilize Additional Support Resources

In addition to the strategies outlined above, there are a number of additional support resources that can be helpful when managing mental illness. These resources include the following:

Support Groups

Support groups can be a helpful source of community and information when managing mental illness. Support groups provide individuals with a forum to discuss challenges and successes, share information and resources, and develop interpersonal connections with people who are coping with similar experiences.


Mental health hotlines can provide individuals with immediate support and access to crisis services. Hotlines are typically staffed by trained mental health professionals who can provide guidance, support, and referrals to other resources as needed.

Online Resources

There are a number of online resources available that provide information and support for individuals dealing with mental illness. These resources may include online forums, informational websites, and mental health apps designed to help individuals manage symptoms and track progress.


Dealing with mental illness can be challenging, but there are many strategies that can be helpful when managing symptoms and promoting overall health and wellbeing. Whether seeking support from a mental health professional, making lifestyle changes to support mental health, or utilizing community support resources, it is important to recognize that managing mental illness is a journey that requires ongoing effort and commitment.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the most common symptoms of mental illness?
    • Symptoms of mental illness can range from mood disturbances and anxiety to social withdrawal and changes in behavior or sleep. It is important to seek guidance from a medical professional if you are experiencing any symptoms of mental illness.
  • How can I support a loved one with mental illness?
    • Supporting a loved one with mental illness can involve providing emotional support and encouragement, helping them find professional resources, and encouraging self-care activities such as exercise and healthy eating.
  • What is the most effective treatment for mental illness?
    • The most effective treatment for mental illness will depend on the specific diagnosis and individual needs of the patient. Treatment may involve medication management, therapy, lifestyle changes, or a combination of these interventions.
  • How do I find a mental health professional?
    • Finding a mental health professional can involve asking for recommendations from friends or family, conducting online research to find a provider in your area, and scheduling an initial consultation to assess fit and compatibility.


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021). Mental Health Information Page.

National Alliance on Mental Illness. (2021). About Mental Illness.

American Psychological Association. (2021). Finding the Right Therapist for You.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *