Crying out for help is possibly one of the first things that we learn to do as human beings. Think about it. From that initial moment when we first emerged into this world as a baby the chances are we started bawling our eyes out. The reason being that as somebody who’s only a few minutes old we don’t have a clue what’s going on, who anyone is or what the Hell we’re doing. So we do the only thing that we know how to do at that point and cry out for help.
As we progress through our lives crying out for help becomes a regular and natural occurrence for us whenever we encounter something that we don’t know how to handle. So if your car broke down in the middle of nowhere for example and you didn’t know how to fix it yourself, the chances are you would call a breakdown service for help. Or if you were unfortunate enough to suffer a physical injury that rendered you unable to move you might call an ambulance for assistance. There’s nothing wrong with that is there? I mean, we all need a little help occasionally, right?
So why is it then that crying out for help with your mental health is often viewed as a sign of weakness? Why is it so often the case that those who are experiencing issues with their mental health actively choose not to speak to anyone about what they’re going through because they are afraid of what reaction they might get?
The worst thing that anybody who’s suffering with a mental illness can do is to suffer in silence just because they’re worried about what people might think of them. After all, we all need to take care of our mental health just as much as we need to take care of our physical health. You could argue that they are one and the same.
That’s why it’s so important not to keep quiet about your own mental health and mental illnesses in general. Keep telling those people in your life what you’re going through. Keep on sharing your thoughts and feelings on Twitter.
Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
That’s exactly what I did last week when I phoned a complete stranger and asked them for help.
The Samaritans are a charity organisation that often get a mention whenever the mainstream media are discussing mental health issues. But how many of you reading this have ever picked up the phone and given them a call?
I certainly hadn’t until last week. I’d always managed to survive simply by speaking with my partner, my friends and my counsellor.
I guess the thought of spewing the complicated contents of my messed up mind at a complete stranger down the phone seemed a little strange. But once I’d got over the initial apprehension of making the call it just seemed like the most natural thing to do in the world. The kind lady that answered my call encouraged me to empty all of the worries from my head and tried to offer solutions to everything that I was telling her. There was certainly no sense of judgement and by the time the call was over I felt significantly more calm and relaxed, even managing to have a little cry for the first time in years.
Would I call again? Definitely.
Did I feel ashamed for reaching a point so low in my life that I had to call The Samaritans for help? No, I felt relieved.
And that’s my point about not keeping your mental health issues to yourself. There’s no shame in admitting that you can’t cope and no shame in crying out for help, whether you end up speaking to somebody you know like a friend or somebody you don’t know like The Samaritans.
Never be ashamed of who you are.
You can call The Samaritans for free on 116 123 from any phone, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org – Further information can be found by visiting The Samaritans website.