Imagine a medical epidemic, like mumps or flu, which affected one in four people and left the sufferers in distress, discomfort and affected their ability to get on with their day. And now, in this imaginary situation, consider that half of the people affected were reluctant to seek help for their suffering.
It’s interesting that in the world of physical health this scenario would be unthinkable. Why wouldn’t people seek help for a physical ailment that was causing such misery? But you won’t be surprised to hear that in relation to mental health this scenario is not imaginary. It is very real.
The problem is that people often feel embarrassed when they experience a mental health problem. Or they feel that they are weak, or are failing in some way. They may find their friends can’t understand it, or tell them to ‘Cheer up’ or ‘Look on the bright side’ or some other ineffective but well-meant advice. Therefore, people are much more likely to postpone getting help, putting it on the back-burner, in the hope that it will eventually get better on its own. Which is a shame because sometimes these problems can get worse without treatment.
In my experience, most people get anxious when they ask for help with their mental health. They are afraid of not being able to find the right words and also worry they might be judged or criticised for having problems. But of course this doesn’t happen. In fact, most people find it an enormous relief to be able to take some time out to talk it out with a trained professional listener. They then get to understand it a little better and work out some ways that will help them move their lives forward in the right direction.
For NHS funded therapy for anger, anxiety or depression, phone (01208) 871905 or register online [HERE]