8 Tips For Talking About Your Mental Health

 

8 Tips for Talking About Your Mental Health

Tips About Talking About Your Mental Health
Tips About Talking About Your Mental Health

Most people do not and can not understand how mental health or illness works. They don’t understand how it completely reshapes your life and then you think and sometimes act. Being vulnerable can be beneficial and help you in your recovery. The hardest part is starting a conversation about it, it seems almost impossible, at least it did for me. To be honest, I didn’t want to because I was ashamed of my illness and I was afraid of losing friends. If someone were to ask me what it is like to have anxiety and depression, here is what I would say, “I feel broken, like another person. I don’t eat or sleep normally, and I don’t have a “normal” life.” I have multiple types of mental illnesses and while they are all different, they all end up intertwining somehow. I want to share my tips for talking about your mental health to give you the confidence and help you talk to someone. 

 

Tips About Talking About Your Mental Health
Tips About Talking About Your Mental Health

Anxiety

Let’s begin with anxiety. Most of the time I feel like my mind is playing games with me, yet, every time I can’t help but succumb to playing along. There is a constant, nagging voice saying negative, hateful words. While I should know better than to listen but rather ignore them, I can’t help but listen. That voice plans my next move just in case something bad is about to happen, it second-guesses and doubts my decisions. Then there are the physical symptoms of my anxiety. It can show up in the form of a racing heartbeat, elevated blood pressure, feeling of having a heart attack, headaches, to even being physically sick to my stomach. For me, anxiety is running to the nearest bathroom or my car because I feel as though people are laughing or judging me, or there are too many people where I am at. That’s when the tears begin to fall, pouring harder and harder with every negative thought that continues. There’s no stopping it.

Depression

Depression can be labeled as many terms. Sadness, loneliness, emptiness, worthlessness, I could go on and on. Depression can force you to have no self-confidence. In my opinion, numb is the best way to describe it because I don’t feel…anything. I am numb to those around me, I am filled with absolutely nothing; no hope, no reason to keep going; no reason to get out of bed. When depression hits me hard, I don’t get out of bed for sometimes days, my hygiene, relationships, and overall health suffer.

Tips About Talking About Your Mental Health
Tips About Talking About Your Mental Health

8 Tips for Talking About Your Mental Health

  1. Remember you are brave for being so vulnerable to talk about your mental heal

     2. When telling your story, use everyday terms rather than medical terms. By using everyday terms, the other person is more likely to understand.

    3. Use an example. By using the setting that you are in, you can give examples of possible triggers. For example, say you’re in a coffee shop, possible triggers could include; the crowd getting larger, pans and cups falling. The other person needs to understand that even the smallest of things such as noises can be triggering for you.

    4. Tell them how they can help you. The other person wouldn’t be there if they didn’t want to help you. Before talking to them, think of ways in which they could help you. This could be anything from being able to text or call them, or setting up a standing check-in with them, etc.

    5. Tell them how you’re dealing with it. Again, the other person wants to help you and see you overcome this. Share with them how you are coping with your illness. This can be anything from taking your prescribed medications, counseling, etc.

   6. Explain to them this is something that you may have forever. Some people have the misconception that by taking medication or by going to counseling you can be cured 100%, but this is not the case. There may be days or even months that you feel great and have no symptoms, but then it hits again. These illnesses are something that we may have to cope with our whole lives.

   7. Allow them to ask questions. Allow the other person to ask any questions they may have, and if you are comfortable answering them, by all means, do, but do so honestly!

   8. Remember there is no perfect conversation about anything. We’re all human, we might say the wrong thing or not be able to finish your story. But remember, you dared to try!

 

Blessings,

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