The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur
North New Jersey: 973-200-6629
South New Jersey: 609-207-7905

Loving a loved one through all stages of mental illness

If your immediate family member is no longer able to work due to mental illness, you may be among many other New Jersey residents who often feel overwhelmed, sad and worried as they do their best to care for those who are ill. If you're one of the primary caregivers in your loved one's life, your own state-of-mind and reactions to the situation may greatly impact the one entrusted to your care. Tremendous responsibility and obligation coincide with loving someone through the phases of mental illness.

It's often helpful to reach out to support networks, especially if your area provides opportunity to share time and stories with others who understand what you're going through on a daily basis. In the meantime, it's also best to educate yourself as much as possible, not only on the particular illness from which your loved one suffers, but regarding legal matters, such as Social Security Disability Insurance and other pertinent issues that may affect your loved one's or your own life.

Remember these things

When you're living with someone whose disability involves a mental illness, you can never predict what might happen from one day to the next. Some days will be better than others, but keeping the following ideas in mind may help you navigate even the most challenging days of all:

  • It's understandable you want to do whatever you can to help your loved one overcome the obstacles mental illness presents in his or her life, but it's also important to remember that you did not cause the disease and cannot cure it either.
  • If you're feeling critical or hostile toward your loved one, you may want to seek outside support from someone who can help you deal with those emotions in a healthy manner.
  • Mental illness is a general term, but no two situations are exactly the same. Learning as much as you can about your loved one's particular condition can help you make informed decisions when it comes to providing the best care possible.
  • Abrupt mood swings, as well as cantankerous or bizarre behaviors, are not uncommon among those who suffer from mental illness. Again, making sure you have recourse to a strong support network may prove invaluable at times.

As far as Social Security Disability Insurance claims are concerned, as you help your loved one apply for benefits, you may find it even more challenging than the physical disability claims process. Many times, the Social Security Administration denies initial claims regarding mental illnesses. If this happens to your loved one, you must then decide if you want to drop the claim or enter the appeals process. 

An attorney experienced in SSDI claims is a great asset to have on-hand in such circumstances, in order to seek sound counsel and obtain effective representation, if needed.

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