What to do if you think you are suffering from a mental illness
By Brooke Bonfadini
Mental health is a difficult subject for many people to discuss. People often avoid treatment for mental illnesses because they don’t know how to discuss it or where to look for help. Nearly 60 percent of adults with a mental illness in America do not seek help. As someone who suffers from a mental illness, I know how frustrating and terrifying it can be. But, you are not alone. There are many resources and people here to help you. So, I have put together a few steps to take if you think you are suffering from a mental illness.
Talking to Family/Friends
Opening up, even to those closest to us, about mental illness is extremely challenging. It can be scary to put yourself out there, but your friends and family may be able to help you decide what the next steps are as well as learn to help you cope with your mental illness. If you are feeling overwhelmed about discussing your mental state, check out this guide that will walk you through talking to others about it: https://www.talkspace.com/blog/therapists-guide-talking-friends-family-about-mental-health/.
Therapy is essentially one-on-one time with a licensed professional who will help you work through your mental illness. It may take a few tries to find someone that is a good fit for you, but there are plenty of styles out there, so if you don’t like the first one you visit, don’t get discouraged. If you are thinking about therapy, a great website to check out potential therapists in your area is https://www.goodtherapy.org/find-therapist.html.
If talking to a therapist in person isn’t for you, there is now online therapy! Online therapy is similar to regular therapy except you have the option to text or video chat with your therapist. Some online therapy organizations have services available for free, including free trials. Check out these resources to get started:
Psychiatrists specialize in prescribing medication that can help treat mental illnesses. If you decide to try medicating, a psychiatrist will help you find a medication and dosage that will best help you cope with your mental illness. If you are afraid that taking medication seems like the “easy way out,” remember, mental illnesses are just as real as physical illnesses. Don’t let the opinions of others stand in the way of a healthier you. Mental illness is not to be taken lightly, and I encourage you to reach out whether it’s to a family member or a professional. There is no shame in asking for help, and your well-being is of utmost importance. Having a mental illness will never make you less of a person. You are amazing, and you can do this
If you want to know more about my experience with mental illness or just want to talk, feel free to reach out in a message on Instagram (@this_dog_is_down).