Helping Someone Who Doesn’t Want Help

Attempting to help someone when your help is unwanted is a fine line to walk. On one hand, they likely prefer to be left alone, and any rebuff is bound to sting. On the other hand, they may be in desperate need of help, and refusing to accept it.

Sometimes when someone we love is not threatening anyone or attempting to commit suicide, mental health professionals ignore pleas for assistance. These are a few ways you can help a non-suicidal, non-threatening person in your life.

There aren’t really any set rules to follow for how to help someone who doesn’t want help. The only rule that nearly everyone goes by is to get immediate assistance for the person if someone is in danger. That could be from potential suicide, or because the person is threatening someone else.

If someone is in danger, get help. Just because the threat doesn’t seem serious or just because this has happened before does not reduce or eliminate the need for assistance. Help Guide has a great article on suicide prevention.

The kind of potentially necessary help we will be focusing on is when someone is in a non-threatening, non-suicidal psychotic or otherwise deranged state and cannot help themselves. Helping may be necessary in these circumstances so the person can get off of the streets, or even move out of their parent’s/relative’s/friend’s/whoever’s house. Even if such assistance is not needed for living arrangements, it can better the quality of the ill person’s life.

Here are some ways you can help:
  • Be encouraging. Do not force the person into treatment.

From personal experience with someone very close to me (as well as how I have been treated myself when psychotic) forcing someone into treatment only causes resentment. In such a situation, you could be doing more harm than good – the person might even cut you off from information and out of their lives. Instead, let the person know you are there for them. A listening ear (that doesn’t blabber to everyone else) is really beneficial. The more the person learns you are trustworthy, the more likely they are to respect your opinion and even get help if you suggest it gently. You cannot rush someone’s trust. It has to be earned, and treated carefully. This will probably not happen overnight. It will take time.

  • Don’t nag.

If the person has stopped taking their medicine or is rejecting treatment, nagging will probably not fix the situation. Not nagging, however, does not mean that the person can stop their medicine without consequence. If the person is living under your roof, lay down rules and enforce them. For instance, tell the person (gently but firmly) that if they do not take their medicine, then they will have to find somewhere else to live. You can even help them find another place to live, so you don’t feel guilty about putting them out.

Another option …

A counselor once told me that she would not treat me if I was not taking my medicine. While I disagree with the helpfulness of that approach from a counselor, it does seem like it could be potentially helpful from a friend or non-professional. Of course, it would not be treat but rather hang out with or something along those lines. I do not recommend refusing to talk to the person, because that can make them feel isolated and alone. That is not the goal. You can still talk on the phone, or online, but maybe avoid going places and doing things together. You want the person to know you are serious about their health and wellness.

One More Thing:
  • Don’t take any rebuffs personally.

I mentioned earlier that any rebuff is bound to sting – and it probably will. A lot. Just remember that the person is not his/herself at the moment. Of course, if this is typical behavior for him or her with or without medicine, don’t feel obligated to stick around. You are not obligated to be anyone’s friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, ect. The exception to this would of course be relatives, but you are still not required to be in that person’s life. Please don’t simply ditch the person without warning, though – and please don’t wait until they are going through a really bad time to walk out. That’s kicking while they’re down. Use your best judgement, and don’t let a bad relationship (of any kind) drag you down too. Hopefully the aforementioned people are few and far between, though, and that portion of paragraph was unnecessary.

For the people who do not typically treat you badly, when they rebuff your attempts to help them, it’s not meant to be personal. Lashing out in such a way is often regretted afterwards. This is when they need you most – and sometimes being a good friend is the best you can do. It might not seem like much, but it means the world to the person suffering.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a mental health professional of any kind. This article is not meant to be taken as medical advice. If yourself or someone you know is in danger, please see immediate assistance. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

1-800-273-8255

Available 24 hours, everyday.

Being Productive: Benefits of Tithing

Although Christians are typically the group encouraged to tithe, there can be benefits for everyone – Christian or non-Christian. Just keep in mind that Christians would have different reasons for giving than non-Christians. Tithing can even give people a sense of being productive, of doing something of worth (for a non-religious person, this would likely be similar to giving to a charity). For people with mental illnesses, being productive can be extremely helpful in providing a sense of worth. Note that there are other ways to be productive and feel worthwhile, this is simply one option. Giving to a church is a choice that should be done with the right attitude. 

While tithing is typically labeled as a Christian activity, non-religious people can choose to give money to a church as well (for different reasons). Here are reasons to tithe, as benefits both the church being tithed and the tither.

Benefits of tithing can be divided into who they help; the person tithing or the church receiving the tithe (this post will only discuss tithing to churches, not other organizations). While this could be further divided into believers and non-believers, I do not think that is necessary.

Benefits of Tithing for the Church:
  • supports keeping the church’s doors open by helping keep bills paid
  • Enables students to get volunteer hours through the church (by keeping church doors from permanently closing)
  • can fund various missions, whether local or foreign
  • can help fund community outreach (which could make new believers, but also reaches needs in the community)
  • can help stock a food pantry (many churches donate food to those in need in the community)
  • can help the church pay staff to support services for members, such as child care during church services, or counseling
Benefits of Tithing to the Tither:
  • Christians who tithe 10% or more with the right attitude would be showing Biblical obedience (Malachi 3:8-10)
  • Christians can also receive blessings for tithing properly (see above, or Luke 6:38)
  • tithing is tax deductible
  • can help the individual feel more productive
  • the individual knows their money is going to a good place (many churches have business meetings regularly in which the congregation can see where their tithes are going)
  • if the money goes to the church, it is not burning the proverbial hole in the individual’s pocket – it cannot be spent wastefully if the individual does not have it (which could help some individuals fight addictions)

Clearly, individuals will have to decide for themselves whether or not to give money to the church. Individuals that prefer to give to organizations other than churches have plenty of options, and plenty of causes to choose from. This is by no means an exhaustive list of benefits.

See you next week,

Nicole

Trim Healthy Mama (THM) Plan – Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison

Recently, my mom started reading the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) plan. She recommended it to me (because I want to lose weight), which is why I ended up reading it.

Based on "biblical truths", THM isn't one of those lifestyle changes that deprives you of everything you love. No counting calories, just enjoying food.

The THM Lifestyle

Starting in the introduction, Trim Healthy Mama makes us a promise: “We guarantee zero pounds lost in the first month!” (pg. xv). After that unusual guarantee, THM further clarifies that while most do lose weight the first month, the number isn’t important. This is a lifestyle, not a diet.

Further in the introduction, I was shocked to read that Trim Healthy Mama was based on “biblical truths” (pg. xviii). That was a first! I have never before heard of a plan for weight loss that was based on the Bible. THM explains this best, though, when they state “Who could know better than our Creator?” (pg. xviii).

The THM plan was already off to a pretty good start. Barrett and Allison stated their foundation, and we’re already letting readers know that this was for the long haul. They also added a snippet to let readers know – if you’re not a mama, you’re still not left out: “… welcome to the THM sisterhood, where the word mama applies to women of all ages and stages” (pg. 3).

Difference of Interpretation

Earlier in the THM plan, we read that the plan was based on “biblical truths”. That did raise questions in my mind at the time – but I read on to learn what they meant for myself. Further questions are raised later on, however, at the mention of the THM sisters eating turkey bacon. Sounds innocent enough, right? Except for their reasoning on why.

According to the THM sisters, “We enjoy bacon, too, but use the turkey variety due to our biblical beliefs. The choice to eat real pork bacon and other meats deemed not clean in Leviticus and Deuteronomy in the Bible is completely up to you. We can’t help but squeeze in the point that God surely knew what He was talking about when he suggested in the scriptures which meats were made for our bodies to eat and which weren’t” (pg. 29).

Everyone has the right to believe as they wish, however, I would like to point out that claiming that the meats considered unclean in Leviticus and Deuteronomy are still inaccessible to people who believe in the Bible shows a certain misunderstanding or ignorance of the Bible. In Acts 10:13 Peter clearly has a vision in which he is told to “… kill and eat”. When Peter refuses, he is told “What God has made clean, do not call common” (Acts 10:15). You can read Peter’s vision in Acts 10:9-16. I highly recommend you read it for yourself, so you can come to your own conclusions.

Final Conclusions

The THM plan was very interesting reading. Barrett and Allison provide plenty of scientific backing for their various claims about healthy foods and results in addition to their biblical stance. Much of what they said made a lot of sense, and doesn’t seem like it would be too crazy difficult to incorporate into a lifestyle. So many lifestyle changes out there insist that we cut out food groups or our favorite foods, but this plan is not one of them. All in all, the THM plan seems very doable, even on a budget. You don’t have to count calories, or be really restrictive, or go hungry. This plan seems worth a try.

Self Therapy: Pumpkin Overload Ice Cream Bowls

While you probably won’t hear this often, baking can be its own form of therapy. According to Fantelli, baking is potentially “helpful in relieving the symptoms of anxiety and depression by combining the physical and projection aspects of the traditional occupational therapies” (“Fantelli,” n.d.). You even get to enjoy a delicious pumpkin overload bowl of ice cream afterwards!

If you are crazy about pumpkin, (and want a pumpkin overload) this post is for you. We picked up some pumpkin spice morsels on clearance this past Fall, and after quite a bit of debate over how to use them, I came up with an idea to do Fall themed ice cream bowls.

If you love Fall and pumpkin, these Fall-themed ice cream bowls are perfect. Plus, there's no bowl to clean afterwards, because it's edible! You can eat the evidence that any ice cream was ever consumed ;) The bowls and apples are not hard to prepare, and haven't you been wondering what to do with those pumpkin morsels you picked up on clearance? These are worth a try.

It’s pretty simple.

You need:
  • Vanilla almond bark
  • a bag of pumpkin spice morsels
  • about 4-5 apples (I used granny smith)
  • a pinch of sugar
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla ice cream

 

  • balloons
Pumpkin Overload, How To:

Melt half of the block of almond bark with half of the bag of pumpkin spice morsels. You can do more or less of either, but more morsels will make the pumpkin overwhelm the apples and ice cream.

While you are melting the mixture, blow up about 4-5 balloons. You want them just big enough to form a bowl on the bottom side.

Once the bark/morsel mixture is mostly smooth (I was unable to get out all of the lumps, but it’s not a big deal).

Now there are two ways to go about this.

What I did was dip the bottom side of the balloon in the pumpkin mixture, and then let it cool. Consider putting the balloons mixture side down on a piece of waxed paper, so that a flat side (and thus a bottom) will be formed. Freezing the balloon with the mixture on it for at least an hour works best.

Once the mixture is hardened on the balloon, gently pop the balloon. I used scissors to cut the balloon so I wouldn’t get a big pop. If necessary, cut the balloon along an edge as it deflates so it doesn’t ruin the bowl. Then peel the balloon off the bowl. A little dye was left on my bowls, but we just didn’t eat that portion.

The second method:

Spread a bowl-sized circle of the mixture on a piece of parchment paper. (I think it would stick better to parchment paper than waxed paper). Then lay the paper over a blown up balloon (put the balloon in a small bowl to keep the rounded side up). Let it dry and freeze at least 1 hr. Remove from balloon and peel parchment paper off of mixture.

While your bowls are freezing:

Peel and core your apples. I used wedges, but you can slice them smaller if you want it to go faster. Drop the apples in a pot of water, sprinkle generously with cinnamon, and a dash of sugar. Heat until the apples are soft, and the mixture is considerably thicker. You may have to add water as the apples cook so they don’t burn. I liked my mixture with apple chunks in it, but you could cook yours totally smooth if you wanted to. Let cool until only slightly warm.

Take your pumpkin overload bowls, fill with vanilla ice cream, and top with slightly warm apples. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Overload Ice Cream Bowls. A Fall-themed dessert that is a pumpkin spice bowl, filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with warm cinnamon apples.

References:

Fantelli, G. (n.d.). The Benefits of Baking Therapy. Retrieved September 1, 2016, from http://www.mentalhealthy.co.uk/depression/depression/the-benefits-of-baking-therapy.html