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Reaching Out and Seeking Help – The Basics

 

At some point during the course of a particularly bad depression spell, we get the notion that perhaps we are not able to handle this on our own. I want to tell you that you are right. Don’t handle this on your own. You don’t have to.

Yes, yes, I understand that you are independent and that you have handled it thus far. I also understand that maybe you don’t have a strong network of people to lean on. You may also think that you are the pillar that must be strong for the others. Every person is allowed to feel vulnerable. Everyone needs a shoulder from time to time.

 

Understanding the Professional Options

There are two types of professionals who deal with depression – psychiatrists and psychologists. A psychiatrist is able to prescribe medication to help alleviate some symptoms while a psychologist focuses more on behavioural changes. Both serve their purposes. Feel free to speak to a family doctor to determine which option is best for you (based off of budgetary concerns, insurance coverage, etc.).

BE CAREFUL! Not all therapists are built the same, but sometimes the cheaper therapist may not be the right one for you. Understand that it happens. You are baring your soul to someone that you don’t know well. The relationship is based off of trust. Trust that they can help you. Trust that they will not judge. Trust that things take time. Just because one person doesn’t work, doesn’t mean the others won’t either.

There are also other psychologists that subscribe to alternative methods. They may ask to analyze dreams, hypnotherapy, and other non-traditional treatments. The end result should be that you are now better-equipped to handle everything. If this works for you then it works. I am just stating that there are these type of people out there too.

A lot of the suggestions they give sound silly at first (at least that’s what I found), but there is a point to it all. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be yourself. With the first psychologist I saw, I withheld a lot of information. I was guarded. I didn’t question what they were telling me. In turn, I became frustrated and my symptoms became worse. The psychologist/psychiatrist will not know what to treat if you do not tell them what is wrong! It’s difficult, but, push through it. Talk to them about your concerns if it helps.

Turning to Family and Friends

This option can be a double-edged sword. Some people are amazing and they may be able to offer the support that you seek. Some … not so much. I know that some of you out there don’t wish to burden a loved one, but they are there for you. Your true family and friends are always with you in their own way.

Note: I use the word “Family” to describe people that you have welcomed in your life that are the closest to you. This does not have to mean blood-relatives.

Things that may happen:

  • They may become concerned about your well-being. That’s normal! Besides, you may need someone in your corner ensuring that you are taking care of yourself.
  • Some (the negative influences) will switch this situation and make it about themselves. What they did wrong. What they would have done. Why did this happen to them? (You are now imaging someone who will behave like this. I advise not to turn to this person … at least not right away).
  • Some will then open up about what they are feeling. That’s okay too. Just remember that it is okay to think selfishly every now and then. You don’t always want to be reminded of all the bad things in the world.
  • You realize that maybe having someone listen is enough (sometimes).

Sometimes an unlikely person may become someone a trusted confidante. You never know until you find a way to trust another person.

 

Support Groups

Yes, these things still exist! Sometimes, this can be beneficial but it depends on you. What you tend to do in these types of situations.

Some people can share their experiences and find comfort through the small community environment. They are able to offer you suggestions on what you can do and share information about what works for them.

Some people remain more closed off. It may seem overwhelming at first, opening up to new people. Sometimes you hear stories that make you feel worse because they may be going through something worse (in your opinion).

Personally, I try avoiding this. BUT that’s just me. In these situations, I don’t voice my issues, rather I try to listen to everyone and help them out.

The experiences are different for everyone. There are so many factors involved with this option. Feel free to try this out and as stated before, if one doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t mean that the others will not work as well.

 

With all the options available to you, you do not have to suffer alone. Try them out. You never know until you try.

If you feel as if no one is available, feel free to drop me a line. You can email me directly at: a.harkness002@gmail.com.

Have a lovely weekend! We are nearing the end of the summer so go out and enjoy it!

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