• Theo

Asking For Help

One of the hardest things to do when you are struggling with mental health is to ask for help. First it’s deciding who to go to but then it’s figuring out how to actually ask for help. Whether it’s anxiety, depression, burnout or any other struggles, here are five tips for asking for help.

1. Speak to a professional

The best starting place is to speak to a medical professional. The main reason being that they can get you the help you need asap whether that’s medication or a referral to a talking therapy. Medical professionals can diagnose mental illnesses and they have experience with a whole lot more than your average person.

It may seem like the obvious thing to speak to a family member or friend first but the issue with that is, there is a risk of being dismissed. Taking the brave step towards getting help is challenging enough without people shutting you down. A medical professional has to be unbiased when you’re talking to them. They will hear you out and take you seriously.

Once you have a diagnosis and a support plan in place, you can then communicate with those closest to you.

2. Write a letter

Communicating everything that you’re feeling can be overwhelming to the point that your thoughts don’t make sense. Even if you come up with a plan, conversations can divert and you can lose your train of thought. Sometimes it can even be too intimidating to actually vocalise the thoughts in your head. This is when it can be incredibly helpfu to write a letter.

Writing a letter allows you to say exactly what you mean. You can rewrite it as many times as you want and explain in as much detail as you’d like. Nobody is there to not erupt, ask questions. It’s just you and your thoughts as you write it. When you’re ready, give it to your family member or friend; whoever you’re hoping to get help from. Don’t expect them to answer straight away is it’s likely to take time for them to process it and find a way to offer help.

3. Phone a helpline

Sometimes we can’t find an easy way to get help. Either we don’t have access to medical care or we can’t confide in those around us. This is where phone helplines come in handy. Many of them are free and available 24/7.

The people on the other side are professionals and are equipped to help you deal with a moment of crisis. They can offer you help there are then whether it’s through offering emotional support or offering advice with how you can overcome your mental health issues, they are there to help; no judgement. It’s the perfect place to get help immediately. If you want, they can even help you find the best ways of asking for help from those around you.

4. Look up other people’s stories

One of the best parts of the internet is being able to hear people’s stories from all over the globe. Despite how isolating your situation may feel, there’s a good chance that someone somewhere in the world has experienced something similar.

Use the internet to look up inspirational stories of people getting help for their mental health. See what steps they took or how they went about it and then see if you could do something similar.

“What if?” Is always a scary question so by seeing how other people have gone through it, you can learn from their experiences. Perhaps they have advice for what they would have done differently. Either way, it’s worth looking into if you’re nervous about the first steps.

5. Be honest

Ultimately, the only way you can get the right help for you is by being honest. There may be times when a certain avenue doesn’t work out, or the people you thought would help, don’t. That’s okay though. It’ll all lead you to find the perfect help for you. Being honest is often one of the hardest parts as it leaves you feeling exposed; admitting to those inner demons. Being truthful about your struggles will help bring you closer to the solution.

Getting help for your mental health is so important as we are social creatures. We need a good support network. Facing things by yourself is doable but not desirable. If you are struggling, ask for help. You can do this!

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