Have you ever felt that you are going through something that no one can understand? Or have you ever felt that you have so much going on in your head that you can’t even tell anyone?
We all have a lot going on inside our heads but very few of us actually have the courage to speak about what is troubling us. Let’s take a look at how we can talk to someone about our mental health.
How to speak to someone about your mental health
Although it may be difficult to share your feelings and thoughts with someone, choosing to do so is a good step to improve your mental distress. Keeping your emotions suppressed will only lead to further emotional dysfunction.
Speaking to Family
Dealing with mental health issues alone can be quite a burden on a person. Having someone to share that burden with can relieve some of the stress that you may be experiencing.
It is not always easy to speak to our loved ones, especially family members about any negative things that you may be experiencing because you feel that you may be burdening them with your problems.
Sometimes people hesitate to speak to their family members about their mental health because they don’t want them to be concerned and worried about their well-being. People also refrain from sharing when they are scared to be judged by their loved ones.
It is important to find a place that you find safe and secure when talking about your mental health with your family. Start off by asking them to keep an open mind and ask them to listen to you before responding.
If you find it difficult to articulate your feelings, take some time out and write down how you would like to start the conversation. Choosing the right words to explain how you feel can be difficult so self-reflection is essential.
Sharing with Friends
Some people feel more comfortable confiding in their friends than their family members. It is important to be as open as possible when talking about your mental health so that the other person (your friend) can try and understand what you may be going through.
Find a suitable time and place where you and your friend(s) feel comfortable. Ensure that you choose a private place where you can freely express your emotions and convey your feelings to them.
If you feel uncomfortable talking to them face-to-face, then you can opt for a phone call or text message to start the conversation or brief them about what you may be going through and then give more details when you meet them.
Having a friend stand beside you through tough times can help you feel less burdened and ease your mind. You can also find additional information about your condition and share that information with your friends and family so they are well aware of it.
Reaching out to a Mental Health Professional
Talking to a complete stranger about your personal problems can be challenging for some but on the other hand some people find it more comforting to confide in someone who doesn’t know about their past, basically has a clean slate.
When dealing with mental health related issues, it is important to reach out to a professional so they can provide the support and help you need to overcome your problems. Mental health professionals are able to understand and empathize with whatever you may be going through.
You need to be open and honest about your symptoms so they can accurately assess the gravity of your situation. If you find it difficult to speak out your thoughts or feelings, sometimes it helps to write them down or maintain a journal.
Another thing that could help you is getting more information about your condition. You can ask your mental health professional about what exactly you’re experiencing and gain more insights which help you deal with it in a more constructive manner.
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Why is it important to talk to someone about your mental health?
Whether you choose to speak to a friend, a family member, a colleague or a professional, getting that kind of load off your chest will only make you feel more relieved and relaxed. In addition to this, it will deepen your bond with the person you confide in.
Unburdening yourself from emotional distress can be a great stress buster and add years to your life. Talking things out can also help you get clarity on any problems you may be facing and at the same time, aid you in your decision making process.
Talking to someone about your mental health can also help you gain perspective about any internal conflicts you may be facing. It can help you to compartmentalise and organise your thoughts in order to derive a more rational conclusion.
Holding things in will only make you feel heavy and uncomfortable, which in turn causes various health hazards. If you feel like there’s no one you can confide in, then it’s best to speak out loud to yourself or journal your thoughts and feelings.
In this article, we explored how to talk to people about your mental health and why it is important to talk about your mental health.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): I Need to Talk to Someone About My Mental Health
The following are some frequently asked question on this topic and some answers to them –
Where can I go to talk about my mental health?
One can go to a General Practitioner (GP) to talk about their mental health. Apart from this, there are many other mental health platforms that people can explore now. Various mental health websites and apps allow people to connect to an appropriate mental health professional.
There are many psychologists, counselors, and psychiatrists who can be approached at clinics, offices and hospitals for face-to-face sessions. Apart from this, there are also support groups where people can go to talk about their problems and feel supported.
In addition to these, people can also call suicide hotlines if they are feeling extremely depressed and having suicidal ideations.
What do you call someone who helps with mental health?
There are different kinds of mental health professionals: A Psychiatrist and a Psychologist.
A psychiatrist can diagnose and prescribe medication. They can also do physical examinations and require medical tests.
Psychologists deal observe and examine behaviour, thoughts and feelings. They are not limited to mental illnesses. They provide a platform for people to be heard without any judgements.
How do I tell someone I have a mental illness?
It can be very difficult to open up and talk about your mental illness to your loved ones but there are some things you can do to ease the process whenever you are ready to tell them:
- Find a safe and private space for you to be able to freely express your thoughts and feelings.
- Write down what you want to tell them beforehand so you know exactly how to express your thoughts.
- Give them enough information about your illness so they do not have any doubts or misunderstanding.
- Try to be clear and concise.
- Give them space to process the information and show them that you are okay with your illness.
Why is talking about mental health hard?
There are various reasons why it may be difficult to talk about mental health. Some reasons are listed below:
- Because of the taboo or stigma attached to mental health illnesses.
- People may feel judged because of it or be treated differently.
- Fear of people avoiding or ignoring them because of their illness.
- They may feel embarrassed or ashamed of their condition because of society.
- Fear of being bullied or considered to be ‘weak’ because of their illness.