When we’re struggling with our mental health, talking about it with the people around us might be the last thing we feel like doing.
We might think they won’t care, or that we will be leaving ourselves exposed. However, opening up to someone can often make us feel much better. Here are some reasons to reach out to someone close to you when you are struggling to cope.
Six reasons why you should reach out to family and friends when struggling
1. They would probably want to know
If you’ve felt ignored or misunderstood by your friends, it’s probably because they haven’t been able to identify what you’re going through, or how much you need them. However, it’s very likely that they would want to know what you’re going through and how they can help you. Think about someone in your life, even someone you’re not that close to. If they were struggling and needed support, wouldn’t you want to know so that you could help them?
2. They might be there for you
Depression, anxiety, stress and other mental health issues can make us feel isolated. It can feel like we’re invisible and that people don’t care about us. However, if you reach out to a friend, family member or co-worker, often you’ll find that the opposite is true. You may find out that others have experienced similar challenges, or that people make an effort to support you once they know what you’re going through.
3. You might conquer fears of stigma
It’s natural to worry that we will be judged, and this is especially true when you’re already going through a lot. However, your friends, family and others closest to you are more likely to be your biggest supporters, rather than judge you. By letting people know what you’re going through, you might find that they are very understanding, and talking about it will make it no longer a secret you feel you have to hide.
4. Strengthen your relationships
To have intimacy essentially means to have emotional closeness. By opening up to someone, you might find that you strengthen your relationship with them. In addition to adding to the intimacy of your relationship, sharing what you’re going through might help them to understand you better. For example, if you have a tendency to go ‘off the grid’ when you’re struggling, they might be more understanding the next time it happens.
5. It will help them to help you
If you share with the people closest to you what you’re going through, then they will be more likely to pick up on it and offer support, next time things are really tough. Asking for help is exhausting, but when someone makes an effort to offer it to us when we’re struggling, it can mean the world. If people know what you’re going through, and are better able to identify when you’re going through a hard time, then they’ll be better equipped to support you.
6. Raising awareness of mental health conditions
By opening up to the people around you, you will help to educate people about what depression, anxiety, stress and other mental health challenges look like, especially if you are high functioning. You never know, the knock-on effect could help someone else later down the track.
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed give our Suicide Call Back Service team a call anytime of the day 1300 659 467.
If it is an emergency, dial 000.