Having a mental health issue can be very isolating. You may feel like no one understands the pain and despair you experience. Because of this, you might keep your condition to yourself, confiding in no one. This is not uncommon.
The stigma surrounding mental health doesn’t help. Many people are hesitant to open up about their struggles out of concern for being judged and thus go to great lengths to hide their conditions from coworkers, friends, even family members.
People with depression and anxiety, among other issues, often isolate because of lack of energy or because they are unsure how to get support. Being open about a mental health condition constitutes taking a risk, which can feel scary. Not everyone may be supportive, some people don’t know how to help, and some people in your life may choose to remain ignorant.
A mental health condition has nothing to do with what kind of person you are. It doesn’t mean you overreact to things, that you’re “just” feeling down, that you’re incompetent, that you’re weak, or that you’re “crazy.” Just as people who struggle with a physical health issue need and deserve support, people with a mental health issue need and deserve the same.
Contacting a therapist is a great step in the right direction, of course, as a professional is best positioned to help you understand the factors contributing to what you’re feeling and can point you toward helpful resources. He or she can’t replicate the compassion and empathy of close friends or family members, however.
So how can you find the support you need? Here are five considerations to help you get what you need when you need it most.
It should not go unacknowledged that, for some people, finding support is exceedingly difficult. People whose pool of family and trusted friends is limited or nonexistent may feel like they have no one to turn to. However, there is always someone who not only will listen but wants to listen—whether it’s a therapist, a pastor or church member, or someone who volunteers for a crisis line. There is always support. The key is summoning the strength to ask for it, something everyone must do at one time or another.
Mental health conditions are very common, so keep sharing; chances are, sooner or later someone you confide in will have dealt with their own struggles. You shouldn’t have to go it alone. Each time you are open about your condition, you decrease the stigma and ignorance surrounding mental health issues. Little by little, we can change the world.© Copyright 2007 - 2022 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved.
The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org.