Why We Have Trouble Seeking Help
This post is for everyone, including you. Everybody needs support sometimes, although asking for help can be incredibly difficult and may not always feel like the right thing to do. We are here to remind you that it is.
When you are going through a difficult time or feeling low, it’s easy to believe that you should be able to get through your problems on your own. Everyone finds it hard to open up about issues in their life and to ask for help. You may not even know what kind of help you are looking for.
The only way to find out is to ask.
We’ve put together a list of reasons why you or others like you may be struggling through personal issues on their own so you can better understand your feelings and hopefully see that you are not alone.
Perhaps none of these options quite fit your situation. If you have an experience you would like to share then please let us know. We would love to get your story out into the world where it can do some good and inspire another person to seek help.
If you feel you that you need help, let us know or try using the GoodKarms app. We built the app so that it’s easier for people who need support, or can provide it, are able to reach out to each other. We built the app for you.
Many people believe you must have a mental health issue to seek help. That’s not true. We want to dispel this damaging rumor. Everyone needs help sometimes and should feel comfortable enough to ask for it.
One important obstacle that might prevent you from asking for help is anger. The feeling that others aren't interested or will not understand.
And you’re right. Other people can’t always understand what you are going through because your experience is entirely unique to you.
But there will be people out there who have been through similar experiences, whether it’s a traumatic incident or simply a daily worry that you just cannot ignore. Anger is difficult to move past because each time an offer of help comes along, it can simply make you more angry! Anger can remove all rationality and leave you constantly frustrated.
If you feel you can, take a few deep breaths and remember that most people do want to help - even if they don’t yet understand how to do so.
Another obstacle is a feeling of loneliness and isolation. If you already feel isolated, it is likely that you will withdraw further into yourself rather than reaching out for help.
Shout about it. Make people listen to you if you have to, because you deserve to be happy every day. It’s tough to make a big deal out of your problems, especially when it seems like no one else has noticed. But once you begin to talk, people will begin to listen.
It’s important to share as much as you can. Find ways to connect with those around you and let them connect with you instead of pushing people away. If you feel you can, talk to close friends and family members who you can trust.
Even one small interaction each day could make a difference. When visiting the grocery store remember to put on your favorite clothes, make sure you feel completely comfortable in yourself, then strike up a short conversation with the cashier or another shopper. You may never see them again or you may become long-term friends.
Do what you can to interact with others, share your problems with close friends and family and tell them that you are feeling isolated. You might be surprised by how many people are ready to support you.
Feeling tired and low energy. Asking for help requires effort on your part and when you are feeling low it’s difficult to sum up the energy. One question on your mind may be: why bother?
The answer is simple: do it for yourself.
This may sound counter-intuitive to the GoodKarms philosophy, which is to encourage people to help each other, but you are the most important person in your life. If you take care of yourself, you’ll be able to take care of other people too.
If you don’t care about yourself enough to get out of bed then try thinking of others you care about. This exercise is not meant to make you feel guilty, it’s meant to make you realize that there are good things in the world and people that you want to share those experiences with.
Talking through an issue or problem takes effort, talking about your own feelings when there appears to be no obvious external problem is even more difficult. It takes time, energy and thought to describe to another person what is going on in your head.
But if you find yourself too tired to get up in the morning or staying in bed all day then perhaps talking to someone is exactly what you need.
Fear, worry and anxiety are all slightly different feelings but can all have a similar affect on you. These emotions can cause you to withdraw into yourself, leading to the obstacles we’ve already referred to: isolation and low energy.
Anxiety is the most common disorder in the US, affecting over 40 million adults, and that’s only the people who are diagnosed. Those without a disorder may be afraid to ask in case their feelings are dismissed as unimportant or they are diagnosed as mentally ill. Everyone experiences fear, everyone experiences worry and everyone experiences a level of anxiety.
If you aren't scared of anything, then how can you be brave? People who live with severe anxiety and yet are able to overcome their fears in day-to-day life are some of the bravest people in the world.
No one else can force you to be brave. It’s an internal deal that you need to make with yourself in order to begin overcoming anxieties and fears you may be living with.
Just as you would visit a doctor with questions about your physical health, it’s important to visit them with questions about your mental health. Take good care of yourself and be brave.
Low confidence and self-loathing. This sounds like a huge subject yet, like all the other obstacles in this list, self-loathing is extremely common.
Thousands of years ago, when humans were developing our survival instincts, self-awareness formed to keep us competitive and safe. In today’s media-centric world, self-awareness has developed into self-loathing.
Photoshopped magazines, superstar athletes, celebrity culture and movies about legendary minds combine to show the ordinary human what we should be. Our competitive nature means that humans are constantly competing to be the best and in doing so, they believe that they aren’t good enough.
Out of 7 billion humans on earth right now, and hundreds of billions of humans throughout history, you can only ever be you. You will always be smarter, healthier, fitter than someone else in the world, and someone will always be smarter, healthier, fitter than you.
Perhaps you even realize that you are too hard on yourself and that knowledge makes you feel even worse. You might think: I should be kinder to myself instead of being so nasty.
Can you see the endless cycle that is forming?
It is hard to see the bigger picture when you are withdrawing into yourself so try to get outside, be around other people, and talk to someone you trust. Notice that I wrote try. If you don’t get outside then don’t beat yourself up about it.
In this list describing reason why people may have trouble seeking help, a common theme has emerged. All the reasons on this list can be overcome by talking to someone. You don’t have to ask for help right away, but interacting with people you like and trust can have huge benefits on your mental health.
Talking to others will provide you with new ideas about the world and will get you sitting up, laughing and smiling, even crying. Any movement or release of emotion can help you improve your mindset and give you the courage to face the world when you’re feeling lost.
None of the symptoms on this list mean that you are mentally ill, but they do mean you have to look at your mental health. Anything you can do to get moving or make yourself feel happier will be a step forward. Solving a problem takes time, effort and help.
It is easy to feel like you should handle things on your own but you shouldn’t. If you are struggling to explain your situation to others then how can you explain it to yourself? Find a way to interact with someone, whether it is family, friends, a therapist, or as an anonymous profile online while you are figuring out your unique situation and emotions.
It’s important to spread awareness about everyone's mental health so please share this post and give as many people as you can the opportunity to ask for help.