Supporting a Loved One

The following are messages from my family on how to support a loved one with chronic illness.

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This is from my mother, Marilyn:
“My best advice on how to support a loved one with limbic system dysfunction is to be their cheerleader. Help them see the best in life. Remind them to remember what they are grateful for, spontaneously ask them to tell you what they are grateful for, have them tell you what they are hopeful for and what they cannot wait to do, remind them what hope feels like, and tell them how proud of them you are. Being a cheerleader is not always easy. Play games together, go on walks, distract that person from whatever is going on in their brain, and encourage them to challenge themselves to do the same. Your role as a family member is crucial. If you want your loved one to see the other side of limbic system dysfunction, be their cheerleader from day one until the day they tell you, with an enormous smile on their face that, ‘I think this is what recovery feels like!’”

This is from my father, Terry:
“For me, watching my daughter go through such a difficult time was heartbreaking. I saw her go from a happy, upbeat kid to a fearful, worried soul. It was written all over her face at times, and then at other times she hid it very well. I remember when I would have to pick her up from work because she was having a panic attack and could not drive home. I felt totally helpless until she found DNRS. When that happened, I knew there was hope for our little girl. So I would say, never lose hope in your loved one. Be there for whatever they need, no matter how silly, unnecessary, or ridiculous it may seem to you. To them, it is everything they need at that moment, and they need you to be understanding and empathetic. Be patient, they will slowly improve and you will slowly see this happening and it will bring you so much joy. So hang in there, be kind and gentle, and stick with them.”