Asking‌ ‌for‌ ‌Help‌

How many of us would sit at home with a broken leg in the hope that it would heal by itself? Or with a severe toothache that is causing you so much pain that it renders you useless.

When faced with serious issues concerning our bodies, our first instinct is to seek medical advice because we understand that we require help. When facing a severe toothache, only a dentist can perform a root canal if necessary. So with broken bones, Orthopaedic surgeons. In many words, we seek out specialists for our healthcare because of the importance we place on our physical health.

But many of us are not in the habit of asking for help when it comes to mental health and well-being. We face loss, pain, stress, and anxiety yet choose to never look for professional help. We often depend on our life partners or good friends to share our troubles. But, many of us choose silence.

Depression and anxiety do not often need reasons or be a result of significant life incidents. Some suffering from depression tend to look like the happiest people on earth. But left alone, are most of us genuinely peaceful or happy?

Men are statistically infamous for suffering in silence. Three out of four suicides (76%) are by men, and suicide is the biggest cause of death for men under 35. We operate under the false assumption that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Culturally, we Asians (referring mainly to the readers of this blog) do not visit therapists or counsellors. I’m not referring to the church counsellors; I’m referring solely to mental health experts.  

Every time I hear of a suicide, I have often wished that the poor soul would have considered speaking to someone. But maybe that person had parents, friends and a partner they loved but couldn’t burden them by sharing their troubles. Sometimes, we hear of the situations the person was facing and think that was such a tiny issue it shouldn’t have been a reason to commit suicide.

But we must all understand that a standard unit never measures our lives’ stresses, so none other than you would know the impact life events have on you.

I have spoken to therapists at least four times regarding my stress levels and anxiety. Yes, of course, I talk to friends and family, but sometimes I need a professional opinion and a change of view. Friends and family love and care for you, so they often jump to giving you solutions or advice. Usually, that’s not what I needed. I needed a professional to help me figure out causes for anxiety or stress.

When my friends come to me with personal issues they are facing and I’m able to see how stressed they are, I listen. I’m happy they chose to speak to me, but I now force them to consider a therapist because only a professional can help you work out the root cause of any issue.

Life is a gift of God, and it’s so precious, but that is not exclusive to your physical existence. Looking after our mental health should be just as common as looking after our physical health.

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