If you struggle with anxiety and/or depression, chances you already know it. You’ve probably googled the signs and symptoms and found you likely fit the clinical diagnostic criteria. But knowing what might be keeping you from enjoying your life alone doesn’t actually help you enjoy your life any more.
Anxiety and depression are serious mental health issues for which you are much more likely to get effective relief if you get clinical and/or medical help. Yet, many people who suffer from anxiety and/or depression suffer in silence, often for reasons unknown. You can get the help you need if you simply ask.
The Truth About Asking for Help with Depression and Anxiety
You want/need help to be free of anxiety and depression. The only way to get that help is to ask for it.
It sounds simple. We know it’s not.
Asking for help takes a lot of courage. It requires you to admit to yourself that:
- You have a mental health condition that requires treatment
- You alone do not have the resources to provide that treatment
Asking for help also requires trust and the bravery it takes to open up to someone else about your feelings and experiences.
Once you finally screw build up the courage to seek help, you face the challenge of finding out just where or from whom help is available.
But, seeking help is the necessary first step to creating a life you enjoy, a life free of nagging worries and doubts and bouts of helpless hopelessness.
5 Ways to Make Asking for Help Easier
Asking for help with anxiety and depression may not be easy, but there are ways to make it easier. If you feel locked inside your own hell, try these help-seeking strategies to break free:
#1: Identify just what kind of help you want
Part of what makes asking for help difficult is because you may not know what “help” means. Do you want someone to talk to? Do you want to learn about prescription medication options? Do you need a friend to literally hold your hand?
Take some time to think (and journal) about what genuinely helpful help looks like. This can help you figure out where you need to ask for help—your family, your primary care practitioner, etc.
(Pro tip: also take some time to see where the help you want may already be in your life. Depression and anxiety can make sufferers blind to a support system that’s already there for you. Realizing that help has and continues to be available may jumpstart your healing process.)
#2: Write a letter
When you know (in general) what kind of help you want/need and where you might possibly find it, write out your request. It may feel silly because it’s likely a letter no one will ever really read. But, if you are able to put it on paper, you are more likely to be able to utter it out loud.
#3: Ask yourself for help
By saying “Ask yourself for help,” we mean looking yourself in the mirror and asking for help. This may accomplish two things:
- Practice asking someone else out loud for help (it’s amazing how rehearsing can boost confidence)
- Recognizing yourself as a resource in your recovery from depression and anxiety
While depression and anxiety may make you your own worst enemy, you also have the potential to be your own hero.
#4: Use the buddy system
If you need to ask for help from someone you don’t know well or someone you wish you didn’t need to ask, take reinforcements. Having someone you love and trust with you boosts confidence. And, if your buddy already knows about your battle with depression or anxiety, there’s a chance they may end up being a highly vocal advocate.
#5: Use your healthcare resources
Many health insurance programs offer the assistance of a case coordinator. This person’s job is to match you with the in-network resources you need to resolve your physical or mental health issue.
Seeking the help of a care coordinator simplifies the process of finding the medical and clinical services you need…and ensures you get the most from your healthcare benefits.
If you do not have healthcare coverage that offers care coordination, you still have another resource—Duke City Recovery Toolbox. We offer a variety of clinical services and therapeutic approaches that prove to be effective in dealing with depression and anxiety. And because we believe in whole-person care, our team helps you navigate the processes involved in getting low- or no-cost therapy and other support services.
If you feel you’ve got no one else to ask, ask Duke City Recovery Toolbox for help. Give us a call any time.