In the mental health world, “support” is a word you will constantly hear. You may have heard about how important it is to make sure you support your loved ones when they are battling mental illness or addiction. Although this is highly important, you have to make sure you have defined what it means to support someone. The idea of support depends on each person and their particular circumstances. Support could mean a trip to the grocery store, or it could be seeking advice from a mental health professional.
In general, people think of support as a shoulder to cry on or open ears and hearts that are willing to listen, and it can come from family, friends, professionals, and your partner. This type of support can help lift people when they are in the most difficult times of their life. Support means something different for everyone who is dealing with a mental health condition.
One of the most important aspects of asking for support is defining what that means for you. Once we have defined the specifics of what we need, we must find a way to seek it out.
When people think about support, one of the first things they think of is to get in touch with a professional. This can be very helpful, especially when considering the potential resources in your community. A group of trusted, caring mental health professionals can make all the difference in your life. There are so many types of mental health professionals, and finding the right team is critical.
You can start your search for a mental health professional by talking to your insurance provider to see what providers in your area are covered. If insurance is not an option, you can always begin by searching for mental health professionals in your community who use a sliding scale or other forms of discounted treatment. Talking to others who are receiving similar treatment for recommendations can be helpful as well.
Keep in mind that you can give a counselor or psychiatrist a trial run. During treatment, you are opening up the most intimate details of yourself. You have a right to feel 100% comfortable. If you do not, it is perfectly okay to return to your search.
It’s helpful to understand that counselors have personalities too, and while they may do their best to keep personal opinions and matters out of the counseling session, they are still going to have their own set of personality traits. Those traits may not work for everyone, and that is okay. More than likely, they would rather a client feel completely comfortable than stay with them and try to “make it work.” Counseling is not about the therapist; it’s about the person seeking care.
For some people, seeking out support may just be asking our family members or friends. However, when you do this, keep both your boundaries and theirs in mind. When seeking support from a family or friend, they must be someone that you trust. Additionally, boundaries are important because neither person should feel as if they are being taken advantage of.
If you seek support from your partner, then you shouldn’t guilt them into doing things or helping you. This can be considered manipulation, not support. Instead, try reaching out to your partner when you are feeling anxious and ask them to sit with you and listen because this could help calm you down.
Setting up a system to ensure your loved ones feel comfortable and able to support you can allow you to accept others’ support and avoid feeling as though you are burdening someone.
Not everyone who is dealing with a mental health condition has the luxury of having proper support. Support from family or friends is not always available, and support from professionals is not always easily accessed. Remember that there are other forms of support out there.
There are many options for free services offered that can provide assistance. Even if there is a waiting list, it can be better than nothing at all. You can create your own self-help plan that is unique to where you are in life. This requires addressing your condition by implementing strategies that promote wellness. Self-help plans may involve strategies to address wellness, triggers, or warning signs on your journey of recovery.
As you figure out what you need on your journey to exceptional mental health, it’s important that you understand what type of support is best for you. No one can tell you what form of support you need. For some, family and friends can be enough, but others may require more help. When battling depression or anxiety, it can be difficult to pinpoint what you need and accept the help. Be kind to yourself and treat your mind and emotions with care. If that proves not to be enough, then reach out to the people who know you best. A support system is what will help you in your hard times. There are people who specialize in helping you through your situation. The Kimberly Center is here to discuss and guide you through your problem areas of life. Contact us today at (855) 452-3683 to discuss how we can help you or your loved ones.