Struggling with mental health can be crippling. When you struggle alone, though, you are worsening the severity of your symptoms and of your distress. The stigma that surrounds mental health may be the culprit of your fear, or perhaps you fear that you will seem weak to your friends or family by admitting you need help.
It indeed takes a lot of courage to admit that you need help, regardless of the situation. Although it can be hard, there are greater downsides when trying to figure out your mental health alone. The clarity and peace of mind that you seek is not far away, but it will require you to face your fear of admitting that you need help.
Addressing the Mental Health Stigma
The stigmatization and discrimination shown toward people with mental illness began hundreds of years ago, when psychology and social sciences were significantly underdeveloped. Today, we can see that there has been remarkable progress made in the study of these fields, especially in regard to mental health treatment.
Nearly one in five U.S. adults are living with a mental illness at any given time. The term “mental illness” classifies any and all conditions, which range in severity from mild, to moderate, to severe. Consider this statistic to only acknowledge the people that have received a diagnosis or begun to get the treatment that they need to heal. The statistic of people that are suffering from mental health distress on a daily basis, and do not receive a diagnosis or treatment, is much greater. Knowing the prevalence of mental illness in society today may help shed light on how common mental distress truly is.
Accepting When You Need Help
There are various situations that can occur to help you realize when or why you need to reach out and ask for help. If you struggle with low self-esteem, which seems to be a common characteristic of many mental illness conditions, it may be especially difficult to ask or accept help from others.
In order to be able to ask or accept help, you will need to do some internal reflection work. Consider asking yourself these questions:
- What am I struggling with?
- How long have I been struggling?
- Does anyone know I am struggling?
- Am I engaging in self-harm or suicidal ideation?
In any type of recovery journey, the first step to healing is to admit a loss of self-control and powerlessness. This means you are admitting that your mental distress, or the symptoms associated with it, are taking power over you and your life. In this, you are already realizing that you have lost control.
Asking and accepting help requires you to be vulnerable, and to especially give up control. If you believe that doing so is a sign of weakness, or that you are relying too much on others to help you, you are falling into the pit of mental health stigma. None of us are meant to know all of the answers — there are too many answers to possibly know!
Vulnerability is the opposite of weakness. Being vulnerable requires strength and courage, just like admitting you need help. When we learn to be vulnerable with ourselves, we no longer judge others for being vulnerable as well. Vulnerability connects us deeper with the present moment and allows us to be the most authentic version of ourselves.
Facing Your Fear
You might already know the power in vulnerability, but you are still struggling with facing your fear. In order to face your fear, you must identify your fear.
The first fear we mentioned is the fear of accepting that you have lost control. Another fear you may experience is the fear of being perceived as needy. The thing is, we all have needs. Needs keep us motivated and engaged with our life experience. Our needs change and develop over time. At this phase of your life, if you have greater mental health needs, you must address them before they become severe.
Another fear you may consider is the fear of not getting adequate help after admitting that you need it. Luckily, the field of mental health treatment is vast. Treatment centers are available all over, with many different therapy programs and treatment options available to help you work through your mental health distress.
Facing the fear of admitting you need help will not only help you to get the help that you need, but it also gives an opportunity for someone to help you that genuinely wants to help. If your close friend or family member was honest with you about their struggles, wouldn’t you want to help and support them? Believe that you deserve mental clarity. Start by talking with a close relative or friend about your struggles and see what guidance they are able to offer you.
Facing your fear of admitting you need help can be an overwhelming thought. With the high prevalence of mental health illnesses, it is essential to highlight how common mental distress truly is in society today. Accept that you need help by realizing that you will not be able to heal on your own. Instead of staying in the same place on your healing journey, reach out for help so that you are able to face your fear and grow beyond it. Achieve Concierge is a mental health treatment center that prides itself on holistic and well-informed care. We provide comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals of all ages who are struggling with emotional and behavioral health issues. We believe that it is crucial to address all aspects of an individual — biological, psychological, and social — to achieve long-lasting recovery from mental health distress. For more information, call us at (858) 221-0344.