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When Helping Someone, Take Care of Yourself


When someone you love is having issues with mental health, drugs, or alcohol, it’s important to take care of yourself too. Having hard conversations, watching them struggle, and dealing with change can be tiring and make you feel alone.

If it feels like this challenge is taking over your life, you need to communicate that with the other person.

For example, if the person is reaching out to you often, you can set certain times to speak with them. You also need to stick to only speaking with them during those times. This may sound like, “I really love talking with you and I want to know you’re ok. I want to make sure I can really focus on our talks and not be distracted. Can we talk every Friday at 4pm?”

If the person is asking you to do too much or things you’re not comfortable with, you can tell them what you’re willing and not willing to do. This may sound like, “I can pick up the mail and check on your apartment while you’re in treatment, but I don’t have the money right now to help you pay for treatment.”

You can also:

  • Help them think of other people in their life that they can count on
  • Make time each day for yourself. This could look like going outside, reading, writing in a journal, or listening to music
  • Find a support group or local program
david's profile image

“My wife has helped me so much, but it started dragging her down—until she found ways to take care of herself too.”

Last Updated
Last Updated: 04/24/2023
Last Updated