Admitting you need help can be scary, it’s finally coming to that realisation that you’re not as strong as you thought you were. Maybe you’re scared to admit that there is something wrong with you because then it becomes real, or maybe the idea of talking to someone about it causes you’re anxiety to kick in. There are lots of reasons why you may not want to admit that you need help, but it’s incredibly important that you get it. Mental health is not a battle that can be fought alone, it requires a team behind you willing to support and reassure you that everything is going to be OK.
I was 23 when I finally went to my doctors and asked for help, it was a long time coming and I finally got to that stage where I realised that if I didn’t ask for it soon I was going to end up committing suicide. Depression and anxiety were something I had struggled with from the age of 14, my father left, I was being badly bullied and I didn’t have a very good support system around me. For nine years I fought my illness, I cried all the time, all the while putting on a brave face for my family and friends. I found myself slowly pulling away from people, living in a bubble wishing for the day to end, hoping that tomorrow would be better. But it wasn’t, it got to a point where I decided that I wanted to die and that’s when I knew I had to ask for help.
I remember going to the doctors and planning a speech that I was going to say about everything I was dealing with. But as soon as I was asked what was wrong I burst into tears. The whole experience was overwhelming and I was so exhausted at having to deal with my illness alone. My doctor was fantastic, we had a chat, she gave me information about counseling and prescribed me some medication, checking in with me a few weeks later. I came out of the doctors feeling so relieved, I had finally asked for help and my burden was no longer just mine to carry. I told my close family personally, but when it came to my friends and family I found that the best way was via the internet. I decided to write a Facebook & Instagram post, telling everyone what I had been diagnosed with and raising awareness. I received so many positive messages and the support was outstanding.
Without asking you will not receive, don’t struggle alone as there are so many different things out there that can help you. Confide in a family member or friend, contact you doctor, seek out counseling or contact an organisation such as MIND. People will not judge you for having a mental illness or think of you any differently. Admitting you need help is an incredibly brave thing to do and can be terrifying, however once you do it you’ll wonder why you didn’t ask sooner.
MIND – 0300 123 3393 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
SANEline – 03003047000
Counselling directory – couselling-directory.org.uk
It’s never overreacting to ask for what you want and need – Amy Poehler