Thursday, June 8, 2017 - Submitted by Georgia Briggs
beyondblue Cup series: Where to get help
In the final part of our series on mental health awareness, Georgia Briggs offers up some suggestions on where to turn to if you or someone you care about has identified one or some factors that may be attributed to depression or anxiety.
The next step is probably the most important one. Get. Help.
There is no shame in asking for assistance and there is a wealth of resources to assist you, including, first and foremost, a General Practitioner. Be brave and start the conversation with your GP that you think you might have anxiety or depression and see what they can do to help. It is the first step to recovery.
Sometimes, however, that first step is a big one. Contemplating that you might be suffering in your own mind becomes a lot more daunting when you say it out loud. All of a sudden you’re different. You’re ‘sick’, you’re ‘fragile’, which of course is completely incorrect. You’re strong and even more so because you acknowledged the problem and sought the help you needed to manage it. If you had a broken leg, would you keep walking on it and try and push past the fact you weren’t okay, because you were worried your mates would think you were ‘weak’? Of course not, you’d see a doctor and your mates would say you’re a bloody idiot for walking around with a broken leg. This is no different, even if it’s not as visible.
Should you not be ready to take the step of seeing a GP or talking about it to someone in confidence, there are many amazing websites out there to help you and the people you love understand mental illness, why it occurs and how to manage it.
When the time is right, you, or someone you care about who might be struggling will make the decision to seek help from their GP and start the journey to recovery. It is important to remember that you must wait until they are ready to do this, do not force them to confront a problem they are not ready to deal with yet.
Remember, getting help at any level is a good start. Small steps are fine (and on a literal level can leave you less wobbly on your feet than a giant one), so it’s perfectly fine to just start by exploring your options. However, doing what’s right for yourself is not always easy, so make sure you seek help at the earliest opportunity possible so professional people can assist you to get better.
As ‘Doctor Brian Ironwood’ from the Man Therapy says after reading to the world the ‘fancy pants’ words for nose picking: “Speak manly speak simply- but most importantly, if you’re worried about something, speak up”.