I’m a huge fan of self-help and I believe that a huge part of the healing process happens within us. That’s why I am so passionate about self-care because self-help is often a big part of it. A lot of my journey has been self-help-focused. When I began my journey I had a huge stigma around therapy and treatment. Growing up, my mom really didn’t want to admit that I had a mental illness. She once told me that if I ever got help then there would be a record of it forever and it would effect every part of my life.
For someone with anxiety, that made the fear of therapy or any record of my mental illness absolutely terrifying.
It wasn’t until my 30s that I tried therapy. I wish I had done it sooner. Self-help is awesome. There’s no pressure, you can go at your own pace, and the only person you’re really accountable to is yourself. But there are also so many things that you don’t get. There’s often a lack of support system, there are so many tools you don’t get access to, you’re at the mercy of what you can find online or in books, and you don’t have anyone holding you accountable.
Professional support, therapy, and outside help is invaluable.
Part of self-care is knowing when you can’t go it alone and you need to seek help from others. Asking for help from other people, whether it’s friends and family or professionals isn’t always easy. But it’s often necessary if you really want to be able to care for your mental health and overall wellbeing. The first step is to find the right support.
I wanted to talk a little bit about that!
Research Treatment Options
There are so many treatment options out there. So many!
For therapy, there are many different formats. There’s group therapy, one-on-one therapy, and therapy that you can get through virtual visits or through texts.
Then there are different types of therapy. EMDR, CBT, ACT, DBT, trauma-informed, and talk therapy just to name a few. If you’ve tried therapy in the past but it didn’t work for you, if you’re still struggling, it’s really worth it to see if a different type of therapy or if a different therapist will work for you.
For substance use or eating disorder treatment, there is inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment and so many avenues in between. There are online support groups and meetings and peer support specialists.
I think a lot of the time we see treatment in very black and white terms but there are truly so many wonderful avenues of seeking treatment and getting help when you need it.
Look at Support Groups
The support of people who know what you’re going through is a huge part of the journey. I remember when I felt entirely alone with how I felt. I didn’t think anyone had anxiety *like mine*. I didn’t think that anyone acted out *like me*. That’s part of the reason that I started Blessing Manifesting because I realized I wasn’t alone and I wanted to share that feeling with other people.
If nothing else, find a group of people that you can vent to, that you can get different viewpoints from, and that above else, make you feel like you aren’t alone. You don’t even have to share. I’ve gotten just as much value from just holding space for other people and listening.
Explore Support in Different Settings
Like I said above, explore your options. You might attend appointments as an outpatient, visiting a therapist or other professional at the office or clinic. You could go to a group therapy or support group session, which could be in a variety of environments. Some treatment options could be residential or inpatient programs if you need more support and structure. Another option to consider is online support. Online therapy makes it possible to access the support that you need in your home, no matter where you are.
Advocate for yourself. If finances are an issue advocate for yourself. Reach out to nonprofits in your area. Leave no stone unturned. I know that it can feel exhausting and defeating and absolutely frustrating because the system is broken but until that changes we have to go through it to get though it, you know? And you are worth the effort.
Ask for Support from Those Around You
I struggled with this. I didn’t want to let anyone know I was struggling. When I was younger, I was in a really dark place. I ended up calling a suicide hotline. The next day, I just broke down on social media. The level of support I got from my friends just knocked me off my feet. In those struggles, I wasn’t able to see how many people cared and how many people were available to listen. I was so convinced that I was alone and that no one cared.
It’s scary to put yourself out there, especially because the stigma around mental illness still exists. There is such a big chance that you’ll find support you didn’t even know you had.
I hope this encourages you to reach out for help if you need it. We’ve all been there. You’re not alone. There’s support out there.
Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention 1-800-931-2237
Eating Disorders Center 1-888-236-1188
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders 1-847-831-3438
Alcohol Treatment Referral Hotline (24 hours) 1-800-252-6465
Drug Abuse National Helpline 1-800-662-4357
S.A.F.E. (Self Abuse Finally Ends) 1-800-DONT-CUT
Suicide Hotline 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-827-7571