Denial of mental illness in a loved one can be a significant step to disaster. Similar to physical diseases, mental illness, when ignored, can get worse. The depressed father sinks further into the abyss and turns to alcohol or drugs to self-medicate. The anxious daughter becomes more withdrawn and pulls away from family and friends. The bipolar son becomes violent and lands in jail. Family scenarios vary, but keep the dialogue open when a family member’s behavior changes for the worse. If your loved one displays concerning behavior, explore their issues or conflicts with them. Help them reach out for assistance from a mental health professional. Don’t try to do it alone. Mental illness is real and can happen to any one of us.