The Best Ways to Help a Friend Deal With an Illness or Injury
Illnesses and injuries are an inevitable fact of life—and eventually, it'll hit someone you love. And over the past few years, I've experienced health crises as a friend, a main caretaker—and most recently, as a patient myself.
Having friends and family reach out to offer their love and support is probably the only good thing about going through these tough times. And no matter how they supported us—whether it was checking-in texts or dropping off meals or helping us wrangle our kids—it helped.
But if you're the friend who wants to support someone, it can be challenging (but incredibly important) to figure out how to do that. "I think people become unsure about how to help a friend through an illness because of the fear and uncertainty that come along with learning someone you care for is living with an illness," says Raydale Soman, LCSW, a senior psychotherapist at Tate Psychotherapy in New York City who specializes in helping people through chronic illness. "When you have a chronic illness, having good support from others is crucial. A strong social support network can have a positive impact on treatment adherence and healing."
So if you have a loved one who's dealing with an illness or injury right now, don't be afraid to reach out and offer your support. If you're at a loss for how to help, check out this advice to help you find the most effective ways to show you care and help your friend make it through the toughest times.