Nobody can make it through life without feeling sad or anxious at some point. However, for many of us, those feelings linger for weeks, months, or even years. For those of us who have a mental health disorder, about 450 million people worldwide, these feelings of sadness, despair, hopelessness, or anxiety can become part of our daily lives. We learn to adapt; to hide our feelings and pretend we are “fine” just so we do not have to speak up about them. This can be a dangerous game to play with yourself.
Fake It Till You Make It
Although there is some truth to the fact that pretending to be happy can make you feel happy, people who suffer from chronic depression or anxiety disorder often try so hard to hide their feelings that they end up making things worse. Avoiding people and places, hiding at home so you do not have to pretend, or even self-medicating with alcohol or drug abuse are all common ways that we use to pretend to be “normal.”
Many people are so embarrassed by their feelings that they will go to any lengths to hide them and end up isolating themselves from friends and family, missing work or school, and sabotaging their own relationships. It is hard to have a close relationship with someone if you have to pretend all the time. That is why you have to open up and talk about it.
There is no reason to be embarrassed about your feelings. One out of every five people, 43.8 million, in the United States have had a mental health issue at least once in their lives. In fact, 1 out of every 25 people in the United States has experienced a serious mental health condition in a given year that interfered with their daily activities. Out of these, about 16 million have had major depression and close to 45 million have had an anxiety disorder.
Chances are pretty good that you know at least one person who is suffering from at least one of these conditions right now. So, it is time to quit hiding it. Speak up and be heard and maybe it will help others who are too afraid or embarrassed to speak up. Be the strong one that others will follow.
Finding A Therapist
So, once you admit you need help, what can you do?
You do not have to rush out and find a therapist right away. In fact, there are many options you can do right now at home. There are hundreds of mental health resources online such as BetterHelp.com, which is the largest in the world. They have over 2,000 licensed therapists and counselors to help you online, in person, by phone, or through texts.
You choose the best option for you.
Many people would rather see a therapist face to face, which is fine. You can find professionals experienced in whatever subject you need in the area you live just by answering a few simple questions. Others would rather talk to a therapist online, which is also a good choice. BetterHelp.com can help you with that as well.
If you are anything like the rest of us, you do not really have time to search for a therapist, make an appointment, and find the time to take off and go see them. If you choose to talk to a therapist online, you do not need an appointment, you can meet with them in a video chat whenever it is convenient to both of you and you can do it from home on your computer or any other electronic device. You could also choose to talk through instant messaging, chat room, texting, email, or voice call. Whatever is more convenient for you.
Whether you choose online or in person therapy, talking about your issues can help you feel better immediately or you may have to have several sessions to start feeling better. It depends on your condition and the severity of your illness. However, you cannot start feeling better if you do not talk to someone, so you should do it soon.
The sooner the better!