Frequently Asked Questions
How should I talk to my parents about my mental health?
It can be very difficult for both teens and young adults to talk about their mental health in presence pf their parents. If you’re very anxious, maybe it’s embarrassing to admit that things that seem easy for other people are very hard — actually painful — for you. Maybe you already feel like they’re angry at you for not doing things they think you should be able to do. If you’re depressed, and you’ve been withdrawn, spending a lot of time in your room and avoiding the family, maybe you worry that they won’t understand, and will just tell you to “snap out of it.” Or that they will be disappointed in you. But it’s a parent’s job to help you out, and they are almost always more sympathetic, and less judgmental, than you imagine. You’re likely to be more important to them than you realize, and they’re not going to be feeling happy if you’re not happy. But first you need to let them know how you’re feeling. Here are some tips to make talking about it a little easier:
Know that there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. Mental Health issues like Anxiety, Depression etc. are fairly common in teens and young adults around the world. Asking for help can be your first step towards healing.
Bring it up. Talk about it. Pick a light moment in which everyone is comfortable.
Explain how you’re feeling. Tell them what’s going on and how it is affecting you. You don’t have to mention the details that you are not comfortable discussing right away. It is always a good idea to test the waters before you bring up a sensitive subject to check if they are ready and won’t be hostile.
Say you want help. Don’t get caught up trying to analyze or explain why you might be feeling this way. If they say what you’re describing sounds normal —everybody gets nervous or down sometimes—let them know that you’re pretty sure this is more serious than that. The way you feel is making you unhappy and keeping you from doing things you want to do.
If you need to, try again. It’s okay to ask for help and support repeatedly. If you get brushed off the first time you try to initiate this conversation, try bringing it up again.
Don’t wait. The sooner you ask for help, the sooner you’ll start feeling better, so don’t put the conversation off. You’ll be proud of yourself afterward, and feeling less alone can be a big relief.
How do I know if I need to seek help?
Feeling unwell mentally is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when you're depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days. Some people think depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They're wrong – it is a real illness with real symptoms. Depression is not a sign of weakness or something you can "snap out of" by "pulling yourself together". The good news is that with the right treatment and support, most people with depression like any other mental illness, can make a full recovery. You might want to seek help if you're:
worrying more than usual
finding it hard to enjoy your life
having thoughts and feelings that are difficult to cope with, which have an impact on your day-to-day life
interested to find more support or treatment.
How do I seek help?
There are lots of options for support out there, although you might find some are more suitable for you, or more easily available. There's no wrong order to try things in – different things work for different people at different times. It is always advisable to turn to a therapist for help. They can offer you support and treatments. If you think your situation doesn’t require an immediate medical or professional intervention, you can also turn to trusted friends and family members. They can provide you emotional support, keep you company during tough times, accompany you to your appointments with your therapist, help you with everyday tasks etc.
What is therapy like?
Many people who have never participated in a therapy session wonder what it will be like. Will the therapist ask you a lot of questions about your feelings? Will they ask you to discuss your fears? Will you have to talk about your childhood? The truth is that different therapists handle their first therapy sessions differently. They may even encourage you to ask them questions about their lives, training, or experiences in the first session. If the therapist adopts a more conventional and traditional approach, he/she/they will ask questions and listen to you. This helps the therapist know what you need. Going to therapy helps people learn to cope better, communicate better, and do better.
What do I do if support doesn't help?
There are multiple ways to heal and everyone has a different set of issues that needs different approaches. It can be difficult to find the support system that works best for you. That’s why its crucial to be open to different forms and approaches of counselling, therapies and support that may benefit you. Remember to continue being hopeful even if things don’t work out the way you had anticipated.
What should I do if I’m worried about someone I know?
It largely depends on your relationship with them. Gently try encouraging them to seek help if they need it while giving them different options that are easily accessible to them. Don’t push them to try something they aren’t interested in trying.
How do I deal with a friend/relative/romantic partner telling me what to do?
It is important to understand that some relationship that you have might be toxic and antagonistic in nature. Your mental health and well being is important and you shouldn’t feel guilty prioritizing it over something else.
What are things that you shouldn’t say to someone dealing with mental illness?
Our words hold a lot of meaning. While talking to someone with mental illness, we should choose the words or phrases wisely. Not only do we not want to use words or phrases that might make the person with mental illness feel attacked, misunderstood or deeply hurt, but we should also keep our nonverbal cues in check. You should not, at any point, say anything that might undermine their experience, put them under stress or create a situation of hostility.