As people are being made aware about mental health problems and their symptoms, we do realize when we need to ask for help. Yet, most of us are not able to muster up the courage to ask for help or tell our loved ones that we are depressed. So, here are ways that can aid you in asking for help when dealing with depression or anxiety.
What is depression and anxiety?
Health Shots spoke to clinical psychologist Richa Vashista, who explained that depression is a mental health disorder characterized by a persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities. It can cause significant impairment in daily life.
“Depression causes feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and reduced energy whereas anxiety is an intense, excessive, persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. When a person is dealing with anxiety, they may experience fast heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating, and a feeling of tiredness,” says Vashista, who is also the chief mental health expert at AtEase.
We may not always know, but at times, depression and anxiety can co-exist. Anxiety can be a symptom of one’s depression, it is also common to have depression triggered by constant anxiety or a panic disorder, the expert added.
How to ask for help when dealing with depression or anxiety
1. Reach out to your loved ones
A loved one in whose presence you feel secure and who understands you would be definitely open to hearing about your problems. When dealing with such situations, it is always advisable to reach out to a person who won’t judge and can provide support. “Talking to them and asking for help can make one feel better,” says Vashista.
2. Seek professional help
Some people might find it easier to confide in a stranger or a professional rather than someone they know as it eliminates the fear of being judged or looked at differently. While we seek therapy, it is pertinent to introspect and understand what one may need from a therapist. One needs to be open and honest with a therapist as they are non-judgmental and will not share a patient’s personal information with anyone else and will help the individual learn strategies and techniques to help cope with life’s challenges.
3. Support groups
With mental health gaining significance, several support groups have been created over the last two years. Individuals dealing with mental health challenges can find a safe place to cope with their problems. Support groups are a gathering of people dealing with similar issues. The mental health expert explained that by sharing experiences, they offer support, encouragement, and comfort to other group members, and receive the same in return. These support groups help individuals learn new ways to cope, ease emotional burdens, gain valuable insights about how others deal with similar situations, focus on self-care, and boost a sense of optimism.
Pro tip for people dealing with depression or anxiety
It is important to practice some level of self-care. Vashista believes that self-care has an essential role to play in maintaining mental health. Self-care includes doing things that help improve both physical and mental health. Engage in hobbies, use positive affirmations, learn something new, spend time with family, friends, and loved ones, read a book, or set achievable goals to build hope. Self-care enables one to manage stress, lower the chances of illness, and increase energy levels. Incorporating basic self-care activities into the daily routine can create a big impact.
Remember to be kind to yourself, and show yourself kindness, grace, and compassion. Focusing on mental health and self-care can boost productivity, enhance self-image, and improve relationships.