Phase 1 – something is wrong

Phase 1 of the 6 Phases of Caring is finding out that ‘something is wrong’.

For many carers, this is the beginning of a journey into the unknown. Carers may feel confused, overwhelmed, frightened, chaotic, and physically and emotionally drained.

Carers in Phase 1 often spend a significant amount of time researching mental illness and treatments, and seeking out people and places that can provide information.

Sometimes mental illness will emerge suddenly, such as with drug-induced psychosis or a reaction to stress. Sometimes the onset is gradual.

In Phase 1 you might:

  • notice odd behaviours or thought patterns
  • be uncertain about whether something is wrong
  • be faced with a gradual or sudden onset of the illness
  • be caring for someone whose mental illness is drug-induced
  • be starting a period of investigation