Supporting A Loved One | Inagene Blog - Inagene Diagnostics Inc.

Supporting A Loved One: Practical Tips & Personalized Solutions

Supporting a loved one who is struggling with their mental health can be challenging, but your support can make a significant difference. In this article, we share some practical tips to help you provide effective support for your loved one. We also discuss how pharmacogenetics (PGx) testing may be able to help your loved one feel better sooner. 

Tips For Supporting A Loved One: 

  1. Listen & EmpathizeOne of the most important things you can do is listen to your loved one. Show empathy and understanding by giving them your full attention and validating their feelings. Avoid offering unsolicited advice or making judgments. Simply being there and showing that you care can provide immense emotional support.
  2. Educate YourselfTake the time to learn about your loved one’s specific mental health condition. Understanding their symptoms, treatment options and potential challenges can help you provide more informed and effective support. This knowledge can also help you have more meaningful conversations with them.
  3. Be Patient & UnderstandingRecovery and lifestyle changes take time. Be patient and understanding with your loved one as they navigate their journey. Celebrate their small victories and be a source of encouragement during setbacks. Your positive reinforcement can help them stay motivated.
  4. Offer Practical HelpSometimes, offering practical assistance can be more impactful than verbal support. Help with tasks that may be overwhelming for them, such as grocery shopping, meal preparation, or transportation to medical appointments. Your support can alleviate some of their stress and allow them to focus more on their health.
  5. Encourage Professional HelpProfessional guidance can provide your loved one with the necessary tools and knowledge to manage their condition effectively. Early intervention can prevent problems from escalating, promoting recovery and well-being. By seeking professional help, your loved one can receive the guidance they need to regain control, improve their quality of life, and build a healthier future.
  6. Respect Their AutonomyWhile it’s important to offer support, it’s equally important to respect your loved one’s autonomy. Allow them to make their own decisions about their condition and treatment plan. Be supportive of their choices, even if they differ from what you would choose.
  7. Practice Self-CareSupporting a loved one can be emotionally and physically draining. Make sure to take care of your own health and well-being, too. Practice self-care by engaging in activities that relax and rejuvenate you. This will ensure that you have the energy and resilience to continue supporting your loved one effectively.

Personalized Treatment Plan: The Next Step

In addition to supporting your loved one, you might also want to encourage them to take a PGx test. This test analyzes how genes affect a person’s response to medications. It could help identify which medications are likely to be most effective and which ones should most likely be avoided, reducing the trial-and-error process often associated with finding the right treatment.

For context, only around 1/3rd of depressed individuals achieve remission with the first medication tried. Also, as trial-and-error continues, the chance of remission decreases and the likelihood of side effects increases when treating depression. Additionally, children and adolescents with depression or anxiety experience significant improvements when treatment is guided with pharmacogenetics. Unfortunately, standardized treatment plans often do not account for individual differences, leading to less effective care. 

With that in mind, by encouraging your loved one to take a PGx test, you can help them:

  • Develop A Personalized Treatment Plan: By identifying the medications that are most likely to be effective, based on your loved one's genetic profile, trial and error should be reduce and the right medication should be found sooner.
  • Reduce Side Effects: By choosing medications that are less likely to cause adverse reactions, your loved one's overall treatment experience should be improved.
  • Make Informed Decisions: PGx testing will provide your loved one with more information on their body, which should help them and their healthcare providers make more informed and tailored treatment decisions. Think of this like a "data-driven decision" for your loved one.
  • Be More Cost-Effective: Minimize the costs associated with ineffective medications and hospital visits due to adverse drug reactions. As identified in a 2019 study, PGx testing for mental health (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder) can help reduce total annual prescription medication costs by as much as $1,061 CAD

Supporting A Loved One Summarized 

With  all this in mind, supporting a loved one struggling with their mental health is a journey that requires empathy, patience, and practical assistance. By combining these efforts with the insights gained from PGx testing, you can help them not only feel better, but receive personalized support and treatment. You know your loved one is unique, and their treatment plan should be as well. 

We hope the tips shared in this article guide and ground you as you support your loved one! 

Back to the top