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How should I treat someone with serious mental illness?

Too often people classify a person with serious mental illness (SMI) through their illness, thinking of them as the disorder they have, and not as a person who happens to have a mental disorder. This leads to an impersonal approach to the person. Even families can be guilty of this, e.g., talking about them as if they are not in the room, and this is particularly so when the person is acutely ill. As the person comes out of his psychosis it is important to encourage normal activities and normal conversations, so that the whole family can see the individual who is ill apart from the disorder. Some dreams may be lost due to illness, so it is important to build new, perhaps simpler dreams for the future.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.