Help with our health
"The only mistake you can make is not asking for help."
Asking for help can seem very easy to do. We ask for help from a store associate when we can't find a certain item. We ask friends for help when we are moving to a new home. We even ask Google or Alexa for help with our most specific inquiries. It's in our nature to reach out for help when we need it. Although, sometimes we fail to reach out for help with the things we struggle with the most, especially when it pertains to our own mental and physical health.
I used to have trouble asking for help. I wanted to be able to do things by myself, but I also felt uncomfortable asking people for their assistance. I was a very independent person growing up. I liked not having to ask for help. However, once I reached my early 20's I was in a bad place mentally. I visited a psychiatrist after a suicide attempt at 25, but I did not want the help of professionals or medication. I wanted to fix myself on my own. I look back and wish I would have started speaking to a therapist or counselor about my mental health issues sooner.
It was not until I was obtaining a master's degree in Community Counseling almost ten years later that I realized and experienced the benefits of speaking to mental health professionals. As part of our program students had free access to counseling, so I took advantage of it while in school. It was so helpful, I ended up seeing a therapist almost every week for three years after graduating. I cannot speak enough to the benefits of talk therapy. It was absolutely one of the best decisions I ever made to keep showing up every week.
I feel there are many of us who feel uncomfortable about reaching out for help when we could really benefit from having someone to talk to about our life issues. Some of us are blessed to have loved ones we can talk to. It can be even more beneficial to also have a professional who is trained to help us process our struggles and find coping skills or tips for addressing our mental health and taking better care of ourselves. Avoiding our mental and physical health issues can only make matters worse. Mental health issues go unaddressed more often since we can see broken bones but we can't see fractured minds. There is always help available. We simply have to reach out.
Mental Health America: Finding Help: When To Get It And Where To Go
American Psychiatric Association: Helping a Loved One Cope with a Mental Illness