I have been online talking about mental health and wellness for almost 4 years now and one of the things that I have noticed is that there are many barriers that would cause someone not to seek help for their mental health. Talking about your mental health openly takes a lot of guts and a lot of strength but there are things that get in the way of that bravery. Below are some obstacles that might stand in your way – and some ways of overcoming them!
Fear and Shame
The feelings of fear and shame are some of the most common reasons I have found why someone does not reach out for help. People don’t want to come out and talk about their mental health in the fear that they will get discriminated against or be labeled as “mentally ill”. They also fear how that label could effect their education, career, and other life goals.
Lack of Awareness
When I was younger I had no idea what depression or anxiety was. I felt very abnormal because no one ever taught me about these illnesses. It wasn’t until looked up information about it later in life that I started to understand my illness. Awareness is extremely important in helping others reach out for help. If they know the signs that something is wrong and the resources that are available to them then more people could reach out for treatment.
Feelings of Inadequacy
Many people feel like they are inadequate or a failure if they admit anything is “wrong” with their mental health. Some believe that they should be able to handle these feelings on their own without any assistance from friends, family, or professionals.
Being A Burden On Others
Whether it is because they don’t want their family to spend a lot of money on their care or they feel like they are going to weigh someone else down emotionally, a lot of people do not speak up about what is wrong because they don’t want to feel like they are a burden on someone else.
Some individuals with a mental illness suffer from negative self talk. “Nothing will help me.” “No one truly cares about me.” “I’ll never get better.” These beliefs are due to depression or hopelessness and can be a big roadblock for someone reaching out for help. I mean…why reach out for help if you truly believe it is not going to work?
Some people are simply afraid of either admitting they might have a problem or afraid what would happen if they do. In some cultures it is not a good idea to admit you have a mental health problem for fear of your safety. In others, it is known that you do not speak about how you are feeling. This fear can prevent a lot of people from getting the help they need.
I cant go to therapy because it cost too much money! This is a real fear for a lot of people who are suffering with a mental illness. Whether it be a teenager who does not want to ask for help because their family would have to pay for it, or a college student drowning in student loans and feeling like they cannot afford therapy. Money is a huge roadblock for a lot of people seeking help.
Therapy does not have to be expensive. If you are in this boat here are a few ways to get the help you need.
- Online Therapy. Sometimes one-on-one therapy can be anywhere from $60-150 a session. Online therapy is a much cheaper option. My favorite online therapy site is BetterHelp. They help match you with your perfect therapist and you have 24/7 access to them!!
- Low Income Clinics. Sometimes there are clinics that have therapists who are getting their hours to become licensed. These clinics are usually cheap or no cost!
- Support groups. If you cannot afford one-on-one therapy maybe try a support group! Support groups are usually free (or significantly cheaper) and great ways to hear that you are not alone!
- Self- help books / workbooks. If you cannot afford therapy, self help books are a great place to start!
No Resources Available
Resources are a huge factor in reaching out for help. If you want to reach out for help but there are no resources in your area then that could be a big boundary for you. There are other things you can do besides going to therapy if that is not an option for you.
- Self-help books / mental health workbooks.
- Self-care. Getting enough sleep, exercise, “me time”, and food can really do wonders in your life.
- Doing research online about proven coping techniques.
- Talking to a safe and trustworthy person about how you are feeling.
Severity of Symptoms
Many people believe that their mental illness is not that bad or that other people have it worse than them. In reality, a lot of people wait until their symptoms are unbearable until they seek help.
If you are struggling right now and you are not telling anyone about it because of one of these reasons, I want you to know that you are not alone. We all hold one of these beliefs inside of us but that does not mean that we do not deserve help. Having a mental health problem does not make you a burden, hopeless, or less of a person. You deserve kindness, empathy, and support.
Let me know down below how you overcame one of these beliefs because what helps you could help someone else!
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