Need Help? Go On and Ask for It

Mental illness sucks.

That’s the summation of my thoughts, usually after a depressive spiral. It’s what I think when a good friend loses a job because of a schizophrenic episode. It’s my answer when another friend hits the low part of his bipolar cycle. It’s the phrase I mutter in response to people’s suicidal thoughts, lack of desire to do anything, or expressions of overall sadness.

Not only do we all experience the side effects of our mental issues, we also get no support whatsoever from our own minds. When enveloped in the venom of negative thoughts that mental illness supplies, we hear things like:

You’re a terrible person …with specific reasons.

No one likes you …complete with names.

Whatever you try fails …including examples.

No one can help you. No one wants to help you.

All of these Wormtongue-spoken messages are not true. In fact, the last one is the most not-true. There are plenty of people who can help. Heck; there are strange people who voluntarily went to school and paid a lot of money in order to listen to others’ mental health problems all day.

Weirdos.

I speak of counselors or therapists. I speak of psychologists. To some extent, I speak of psychiatrists as well. They have all chosen a career, voluntarily, to listen to crazy people like you and me.

Uh-oh: negative-thought brain is talking again:

They don’t really want to help you. They’re just doing it for their job …with examples of friends or relatives who’ve complained about a bad experience.

It’s impossible to find one who’ll be good …with reasons why your issues are a special case.

You can’t afford a counselor …with a list of your expenses.

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Guess what, brain! They really do want to help you. Granted, there must be therapists who are terrible. There must be some who are in it for the money. If you ask around and/or read online reviews, however, you’re likely to weed out the bad ones. After all, these weirdos did choose their job. In my experience, they did so because they wanted to help people.

Plus, the costs might be manageable. Depending on where you live, some of those strange people who can and want to help are cheap or free. Some are covered by job insurance plans, others by government programs, and still others by ecclesiastical assistance.

Don’t be afraid to ask around, get a good listening ear, and get going on your life!

You are important. You are worth any cost.

I promise.

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Photo Credit: Pexels
Matheus Ferrero
Dan Meyers

16 Replies to “Need Help? Go On and Ask for It”

  1. It’s so hard to pull yourself out of that low point when you’re battling against your own mind! But it feels so amazing when you do manage it, all your ‘conversations’ with yourself in this post… it’s like you read my mind!

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  2. I too have mental health issues and I also sometimes find it hard to ask for help, especially when I most need it. Those Wormtongue voices are evil!

    In an ideal (maybe fantasy?) world, everyone would have basic training in how to support a friend or loved one going through a rough time. It can be tricky to find a good therapist, even harder to find one who’s affordable.

    Fortunately, if we can’t afford a professional therapist, there are some free options. There’s BlahTherapy or 7 Cups. Sometimes it can be surprisingly beneficial to talk to a stranger, even if they’re non-professional.

    Full disclosure: I volunteer for 7 Cups as a Listener myself, but I have no financial interest in the organisation.

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    1. That’s great! I saw the push for a suicide hotline, like 9-11, and know there’s a mental health one people in America can call!

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  3. Nice post. I am very happy about my new psychiatrist actually. I’m impressed and wish he was a therapist so I could talk to him longer. I do not have a therapist yet as I have not been able to get in. The list is long… Excellent post. You are a wonderful writer my dear and I concur with all your thoughts. Spot on. Much love always.

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    1. Oh, I’m glad to hear about your psychiatrist! I’ve yet to find a good therapist, myself. The search continues, though!

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      1. Well. If it is like where I live they are all booked up for a while. I suppose the best ones stay booked up but I too am still searching. I know I could use one and am ready to delve into that again.

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  4. I’ve been reading Anne Dickson’s ‘A Woman In Your Own Right’ and, although I am not a woman, I am finding it extremely helpful in asking for what I need. It’s almost laughable, but for some reason, people with depression, or people who feel out of control in their lives never even think that they can ask for what they need. The thought just never seems to occur to them at all.

    And really, most of the time, when you ask, people will do their best to help. But you have to do it. You have to ask, to communicate what you need from others.

    A small victory for me the other day. I was tired. I had been cooking alot after working full time. My housemate does not cook as much as me, but she does eat my food.

    Usually, I just get on with it, not expecting any help, but today, I shouted down to her and asked if she could help with the cooking by chopping some vegetables up. She came up and did. My workload was halved.

    It’s really great when you can begin to re-frame your existence through communication. You are not expected to remain quiet when your needs are not being met, you must voice them so that people can help you.

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    1. Yes! Excellent! I wrote another post called “Speak Up! And Your Voice Will Help You” awhile ago based on that very idea. I’ve clearly been thinking about it lately because, like you, I tend to not bother anyone. Then I hold all that resentment inside and think everyone hates me…

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