Asking For Help

I’ve been seeing an alarming number of blog posts in which people discredit the notion of asking for help, or claim that asking for help is for the weak.

I find this claim wildly disturbing. Not only has this idea been deterring people across the globe for seeking help for mental health treatment for ages, but it says something that I believe is entirely false.

The truth is that asking for help draws on many traits that are incredibly far from weakness, such as:

Courage

Stepping forward and making your needs known, even just asking a question takes courage. Since when was courage ever synonymous with weakness?

Trick question, it never has been! Courage requires:

Strength 

Something which is the very opposite of weakness!

It is one thing to have courage, but to use it one must have the strength to move forward and take action.

Intelligence

Have you ever heard the phrase, “two heads are better than one?” Asking for help is essentially the intelligent act of asking for two heads to take on a problem instead of just one. Double the heads means double the chances of finding a solution.

Asking for help can be difficult, but overcoming fear shows a display of courage, strength, and intelligence. These traits are not traits of weakness, but traits that most human beings would hope to portray in their lifetime.

I wanted to take a second to also note that asking for help can feel much easier when faced with many options of people to speak with. A parent, friend, or doctor might seem like an obvious choice, but teachers, co-workers, HR department representatives, local crisis phone lines, even sending an email to a blogger (like me) is an option.

If you don’t get the response you are hoping for when asking for help the first time, consider it a practice run! There are other people you can talk to, so don’t give up!

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9 responses to “Asking For Help

  1. thenarcissistwrites

    Well said!

  2. Agreed! I’m always amazed that when I work myself up and finally ask for help, or let someone know about a limitation I am having, the response in 99% of the time just supportive and helpful, and caring. And often I get a “Why wouldn’t you just tell me this? These are not unreasonable requests! Yes youcan take lunch breaks again!”

  3. Completely agree! It is not a sign of weakness at all, it is a sign of so many positive things. Just the fact that a person wants help shows such courage and determination to not give up in the face of suffering. I find it hard, personally, to ask for help when I’m really struggling, but I’m working at trusting certain people to support me when I need them to.

  4. I agree wholeheartedly. Those struggling with mental illness, especially with suicidal ideation, have a much better prognosis. I first shared my suicidal thoughts with my friends when I was 18. They urged me to seek professional help, which I did. Without their initial help and the subsequent assistance of mental health professionals, I may not have survived severe depression.

  5. Absolutely right! Brilliant post 🙂

  6. Well said! I particularly like your idea of the ‘practice run’; there are many supportive people and organisations, so it’s important not to be put off if you are unlucky enough to have a bad experience.

  7. I think that some people have such an overwhelming fear of being seen as vulnerable and weak that well… can’t admit that they need it. And yes, totally problematic.

  8. Thank you so much for this really helpful post! I completely agree with everything you’ve said – the problem is there’s a little voice in my head (ingrained there by upbringing) that tries to convince me of the opposite i.e. of the first two sentences of your post. Or, alternatively, that even if asking for help takes strength, ultimately people don’t want to be ‘burdened’. It’s a tough mindset to get out of, but I think the only way to do it is what you’ve described – to remember what it takes, and what the rewards can be……

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