It may be frightening to talk about mental health, especially if you’ve been battling for a long period. However, doing so will allow others who love and care about you to support and assist you. It will also provide you with the freedom of not having to worry about someone finding out about your problem. In any given year, more than 15 million individuals in the United States suffer with depression. Opening up about your mental health might also encourage individuals in your life who are suffering from a mental condition to speak up or get treatment.
If you’re having trouble opening the conversation, here are some ideas for how you may approach the subject with a trusted friend or family member.
- Start the discussion. People are more likely to take you seriously if you start by telling them that what you’re about to say is serious and essential to you. If it’s more convenient for you, you may do this through text or message. However, initiating the conversation with something like, “I’ve been experiencing some difficulties and need to speak with you about it,” might be beneficial.
- Don’t pass judgement. Telling them they’re strange or insane isn’t going to help them.
Pay attention to them. “You’re simply having a horrible week,” or “I’m sure it’s nothing,” are examples of remarks that diminish how individuals feel or what they’re going through.
- Make yourself accessible to speak with them again if necessary. While sharing something that has been kept hidden might be a huge relief, mental health issues seldom resolve themselves in one discussion. Allow the individual with whom you spoke to know that they can contact you again if they are having difficulties.
Many people, however, suffer in silence concerning their mental health. It is an individual’s prerogative, as with any medical condition, to share just what they are comfortable discussing, yet speaking openly about mental health illnesses is the most effective means of combating stigma. As a community, we must do more to assist our loved ones by supporting them through difficult times, and discussing their mental health will be the first step. With suicide rates on the rise, we must band together and find constructive methods to engage in the dialogue and, ultimately, get our loved ones the care they require before it is too late. The more people who share their stories, the more others will grasp what these conditions are like, and acceptance will increase.