Before I ask you, yes you, the reader. Why you fear speaking up about your problems…I really have to ask myself the same question.
And I have, over and over.
There are three answers I came up with.
So, without further ado, I’ll begin.
Number 1. First and foremost, ‘My Problems Are Not As Big As Other People’s.’
And yes, that statement is entirely correct. However isolation, depression, anxiety etc. doesn’t have a universal standard of how shitty the situation can get before it has their effects. So what might be a small issue for some, might actually be really traumatic for others and that is ok! We’re all different, we all have different levels of resilience and different experiences effect each one of us uniquely.
I used to, and sometimes still do, compare my bad feelings and experiences with other’s. Demeaning myself because it wasn’t ‘as serious’ as another person’s situation. Which ultimately made me feel worse. It really hindered my confidence to speak up about the way I was feeling and what I was going through.
Which leads onto Number 2. ‘Fear Of Negatively Effecting The Vibe, Being A Downer or Triggering Other People’
There may be a time and place for talking about mental health… Kinda. This is where I get a little stuck… Because what if we could openly speak about our mental health, in any place, any time, with anyone without it causing the vibe of the circumstance to be negatively effected?
I am still searching for an answer, so I’ll convey the question to you,
‘Is the hesitation to speak up about mental health, where stigma begins? and where it can end, if we start treating those who share there problems with less alienation?’
I feel there is so many variables for the answer to this ..too many to write down.
I just know, that there have been times that I have been so utterly consumed by a depression that I couldn’t comprehend socialising. Owing to the fact that, there was nothing else I could talk about but the horrible feelings I was having and what that did to the atmosphere of the situation.
Moving on to Number 3. last but certainly not least, ‘I Will Seem Self Involved, Narcissistic Or Selfish If I Talk About Myself and Mental Health.’
This is possibly the worst one for me and ties in with Number 2. I can’t count how many times I’ve cringed at myself for overusing the terms, ‘I’ or ‘myself’ or ‘I feel…’
Yet, why do I do this?
Because I fear other people will define me with the personality traits stated above. Yet ironically, I would never think this way about someone else for talking about their personal distresses.
Sure, some people can be overly invested in the way they feel. Inhibiting any positive progress to their mental health.
Nevertheless focusing on yourself and actually being able to identify and express the way you feel, shows a high level of individual awareness.
Being this way can be very educational in learning about yourself.
If you share something personal to someone and they judge you for that, although it’s easy to feel offended, just think about maybe why that person reacted in such a way.
For me, this opened up a whole new world. Perhaps that person was feeling equally as horrible as myself and they’ve translated my sharing as more weight they have to carry or being overwhelmed because they aren’t qualified or equipped to help (no shame in seeing a counsellor…ever I might add.)
The point I guess I’m trying to get across is, sharing can be really helpful if we utilise the array of tools communication has to offer.
It can open up room for discussion, create the opportunity to feel that relief of someone relate to a problem you’ve experienced and this is all support that can make a difference.