Living in a society where we are always encouraged to live independently, to not rely on anyone but yourself, it is no surprise if you start to feel reluctant when you need to ask for help.
Help… Probably one of the most or if not, the most difficult four-letter word to say. You might be thinking, “Why should I ask for help? Are you saying that I’m not good enough?”
Of course, if you can handle the situation by yourself, by all means, go ahead. However, there are some situations such as when battling with a mental illness, where external help is necessary and simply taking that one brave step to ask for help, can be lifesaving.
Yes, we understand that it can feel daunting to even call up a clinic or center to schedule an appointment. So, what more when it comes to having to walk through the doors of a psychologist’s clinic.
If you or someone you know is resisting the help that is needed from a mental health expert, here are some steps that you can take to move forward and closer to getting the help you need.
SEEK HELP THROUGH THE LINE
If you’re afraid that someone might judge you or you do not want to be seen, this does not mean that you should prevent yourself from getting help altogether. There are organisations such as Befrienders that allow you to speak to a counsellor via the phone or even email. This can be the first step that you can take towards getting the help you need. Plus, once you feel more comfortable, it’ll also make you more inclined to schedule counselling sessions.
Quote: INVESTING SOME TIME FIGURING OUT THE REASON YOU’RE RELUCTANT IS ALREADY A BIG STEP TOWARDS IMPROVING YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE.
ASK YOURSELF “WHY?”
Figure out why are you so reluctant to seek help from a mental health expert. Are you afraid to be seen? Are you afraid about the side effects of the medication? If you’re not too sure why but just simply feel uncomfortable about the idea, take a bit of time to reflect. Investing some time figuring out the reason you’re reluctant is already a big step towards improving your quality of life.
Once you’ve identified the cause, this makes it easier for you to address it and move forward.
ASK FOR COMPANY
We acknowledge it, taking that first step can be hard. You may find it tough to step out of your house, you might delay your appointment or reschedule it several times. Sometimes, it might be better to ask a friend or loved one to accompany you during your trip to visit a mental health expert, especially if it is your first. He or she could drive you there and wait in the car or wait with you at the clinic. Your trusted buddy will be honoured that you asked and especially if you get anxious quickly, having someone you know next to you while you take this brave step, is most certainly comforting.
DRAW THE LINE
Some people may feel reluctant to seek help from a mental health expert, for the fear that they might feel ‘helpless’ when they’re in a session. The truth is, a mental health expert is there to help you but he or she has no right to force you to do anything that you’re uncomfortable with. For example, if you’re not too keen on taking medication, you can set that as a limit or if something makes you upset, you can let your counsellor know too. Your mental health expert will know how to set a healthy boundary and work with you while respecting your limits.
When your mind is too noisy or overwhelmed, you might not have a very good memory of your emotions. For example, when you’re feeling happy, you feel like it’s going to be a permanent feeling and nothing in the world matters. However, when you’re upset, you feel down but you do not get the help perhaps due to a lack of motivation.
What you can do is to keep track of your emotions. You can keep a journal or use an app such as Moodigo which will help to keep a history of how you feel. This way, you’ll be able to identify a pattern and this will help you understand as well as encourage you to seek help.
9 THINGS TO SAY TO A FRIEND WITH A MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEM
Having a supportive person by your side when battling with a mental health issue is very important. As a person who cares, the last thing you would want is to make conversation awkward or say the wrong thing that could make the situation worse. So, here are a few ideas about what you can say to a person who is battling with mental illness.
- I’m here for you
- you’re not alone in this
- you are important to me
- do you want a hug?
- do you want some space?
- you’re not a burden
- I’m not going to leave you or abandon you
- take as long as you need
- you don’t need to do it if it makes you feel uncomfortable