Help Me!

Two of the hardest words to say in the world, forget the difficulty of “I Love You” that is a piece of cake compared to having to say “Help Me”.

Why is it so hard though?

It appears that having to ask for help is considered as a sign of weakness – as far as I am concerned the opposite is true. Admitting you need help shows a tremendous amount of strength and courage.

Asking for help shows that you know that there is something wrong that needs fixing and you cannot do it by yourself. The weakness is living in denial, refusing to accept that there is a problem and ignoring everything connected to the problem.

The question is why do we consider asking for help to be a sign of weakness? or why do we struggle to ask for help?

Fear of rejection is a main reason judging by what I have seen on the internet.

I am one of the lucky ones to have a wonderfully supportive wife who is there for me no matter what. I saddens me when I read that people have asked for help only to be  told “snap out of it” and the usual bollocks that people with no understanding of mental health illnesses.

The sad thing is that usually it is family members who we most feel able to turn to and more often than not they appear to be the least helpful people to ask for help. Certainly in my own experience I can rely on my online friends for support a lot more than my family.

Naturally we also do not ask for help because we feel that others do not understand what we are going through but then this depends on the sort of help we need.

Sometimes just offering a friendly ear is the best help you can offer someone. Usually we already know the solution to our problems but just getting them off our chests and hearing a different perspective can make a difference.

I found an interesting webpage on asking for help and why we think its a sign of weakness here and here are some words of wisdom taken from there

  • You may feel that you’re totally independent and don’t need any help, or that any person offering you help may be doubting your ability to remain independent. You might have been raised to be especially independent or felt independent from an early age as a result of circumstances, such as irresponsible parents resulting in a need to “raise yourself”.
  • You may be frightened of rejection or you may have a tendendency to perfectionism; both motivations can cause you to avoid accepting help for fear of failing or being seen as a failure.
  • You may have had a much harder life than others and had to work harder than others you see around you now, or you may simply feel yourself far more independent. Consequently, you might feel that people not handling their own affairs is a sign of inferiority or incompetence.
  • You might feel vulnerable. Perhaps somebody let you down in the past and you swore never to let that happen again, and spun a cocoon of self-reliance as your chief defense. Not wanting to show your perceived vulnerability can cause you to refrain from asking for help.
  • You may feel that your experience of the insecurity that flows through life (such as through experiencing a difficult illness or other challenging problem) is something that you have coped with alone despite wishing you’d had help, and, in turn, you might wish others get over their own insecurities the same way that you were obliged to do.

Make sense don’t they but personally speaking the best decision I made was seeking help, even when I am having a bad time I know there are 2 or 3 people who I can turn to instantly.

But what if your the person who someone has come to for help? do you know what to do or say? do you think you can help a fellow sufferer without making yourself ill in the process?

I mix with lots of people on twitter and facebook who have mental health illnesses and one thing I have found is how supportive of each other we all are but there is support and there is help and for me there is a big difference between the two things.

In an emergency would you ask someone for help? or more importantly would you accept help if it was offered?

Is it a case of not knowing where the right help is available? eg the Samaritans?

Where do you stand on asking for help? is it a no no?

For me if anyone comes to me for help the first thing I do is remind them how much strength it took to ask in the first place!

anyway on the subject of “Help” enjoy this classic song clip – not the Beatles version but one done by bananarama with Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders from comic relief in 1989 i think

 

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Embarrassing Things I Can Share to Help Others

The issue of why people don’t talk to their GPs, especially men, is one that I would love to address.

Why would we rather hide things than speak to someone who can help us and address the issues at hand?

Is it the embarrassment factor that holds us back? Doctors have seen plenty and I would imagine they are pretty unshockable when it comes to health matters.

As someone who pledged to be open and honest about my depression and related illnesses here is a list of things that I have seen my Dr about recently that would be embarrassing to others.

These are not embarrassing to me because I have done them but believe me at the time it was

1) Telling the Dr about how often I have “accidents” from IBS.

Talking about #2 is never an easy subject to bring up. Trust me it is easier to talk about than telling people that you shit yourself a lot!

For a lighthearted look at “poop” watch this video

 

 

2) Erection problems

Ok stop giggling yes i said erection

 

The biggest and most difficult issue for a man to talk about – especially to a male Dr!

But alas I had to make an appointment and tell the Dr that the meds he had prescribed me had sent “Garry Senior” into hibernation*

I would rather stand in the center circle of a packed wembley stadium and announce I had soiled myself than have to speak to another person about problems with my manhood!

But I did it because I needed to.

3) Finding a lump on my left testicle

Probably even more embarrassing because this involved actual prodding and touching! Not just by the Dr but by the specialist and eventually the surgical team who had to remove the lump, which turned out to be a cyst.

It has left a nice scar but I decided for the sake of your eyes not to upload a picture 😀

 

4) Explaining that I wanted to kill myself

 

Embarrassing because men are meant to be the strong ones aren’t we? what a load of phooey! Best thing I ever done was admit how bad things had become for me.

 

Why am I sharing these with you?

It is because if I can have the strength to speak to my Dr about these things then why can’t someone like you?

I am no different to any other person out there, if you need help go and ask for it. It will not come and find you.

I can assure you that your Dr has seen it or heard it all before!

Remember asking for help is a sign of strength not a sign of weakness and it could be the best thing you have ever done and be the start of the recovery you was desperate for.

* Garry senior is not his real name. 😀

Good Support Networks are Vital in Battle with Depression

Whilst trawling around the internet looking at articles on depression it occurred to me that a lot of sites all preach similar things but all of them talk about the need for a support network and talking about your problems. Something men in particular find hard to do, yes me as well until I saw the light and yes you over there reading this nodding in agreement, I can see you!

This was taken from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_tips.htm which has lots of useful information but specifically regarding support.

Depression self-help tip 1: Cultivate supportive relationships

Getting the support you need plays a big role in lifting the fog of depression and keeping it away. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression. But the very nature of depression makes it difficult to reach out for help. However, isolation and loneliness make depression even worse, so maintaining your close relationships and social activities are important.

The thought of reaching out to even close family members and friends can seem overwhelming. You may feel ashamed, too exhausted to talk, or guilty for neglecting the relationship. Remind yourself that this is the depression talking. You loved ones care about you and want to help.

  • Turn to trusted friends and family members. Share what you’re going through with the people you love and trust. Ask for the help and support you need. You may have retreated from your most treasured relationships, but they can get you through this tough time.
  • Try to keep up with social activities even if you don’t feel like it. When you’re depressed, it feels more comfortable to retreat into your shell. But being around other people will make you feel less depressed.
  • Join a support group for depression. Being with others who are dealing with depression can go a long way in reducing your sense of isolation. You can also encourage each other, give and receive advice on how to cope, and share your experiences.

10 tips for reaching out and building relationships

  • Talk to one person about your feelings.
  • Help someone else by volunteering.
  • Have lunch or coffee with a friend.
  • Ask a loved one to check in with you regularly.
  • Accompany someone to the movies, a concert, or a small get-together.
  • Call or email an old friend.
  • Go for a walk with a workout buddy.
  • Schedule a weekly dinner date.
  • Meet new people by taking a class or joining a club.
  • Confide in a counselor, therapist, or clergy member.
How did reading them make you feel? would you do these if you was depressed?
I can’t turn to my immediate family to discuss my feelings and thoughts as currently I don’t speak to either of my parents, my twin brother lives miles away and my younger siblings couldn’t care less in all honesty. I can talk to my wife and I’m blessed she is so supportive BUT it wasn’t until I acknowledged I had depression and spoke to my Dr that I started confiding in her because I didn’t want to put my problems onto her which is, quite frankly, ridiculous but I can bet any men reading this who have depression but haven’t spoke to anyone about dont talk to anyone!
I even stopped doing my social activities as a result of my depression! For the past 5 years I have been coaching kids football teams but gave it up in May because I couldn’t handle it anymore!
And as for going to a support group well in all honesty I couldn’t think of anything more depressing! Funny isn’t it but I cannot see myself in a room full of depressed people talking about their problems helping me but obviously research suggests otherwise.
So out of the 3 main points in aiding your recovery from depression I managed a total of 1 at a push maybe I can give myself 0.5 for finally speaking to Sheryl.
This is where i value the virtual friends I spoke about in a previous blog https://thedepressedmoose.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/social-media/ I have spoken to some of them candidly on my feelings in the past to the extent that they know more about me than my own flesh and blood and I know what I tell them will never be used against me and be shared with others. They don’t judge me they help me and shows me how important their support is!
If you are in the same boat I was in you will know what it feels like to be isolated and think that no-one cares but you will be surprised at how much support you get and usually from the unlikeliest source and when you find the strength to acknowledge your problem your beginning to win the battle and can start on winning the war!
Its not a sign of weakness to suffer from depression nor is it a sign of weakness to ask for help!
Asking for help or even just talking to family or friends shows you have the strength to admit your only human and suffer like everyone else so please seek help if you need it! I am not ashamed to admit I cried my eyes out when I finally saw my doctor the overwhelming feeling of relief that I was not mad and could get help was too much for me and I sat in his room like a baby crying.
It was the start I needed on my journey and could be the best thing you have ever done!
Garry