Mental health is a tough topic for most people. But for those battling a mental illness, societal stigmas, social pressures, and misinformation can keep them from bringing it up at all – even though finding a way to talk about your feelings is the first step towards feeling better.
Of all the things you could be scared of this October, talking about your mental health shouldn’t be one of them. Use our licensed therapists’ advice for starting and navigating mental health conversations.
Write Down What You’re Feeling
Writing down what you’re feeling is a good way to figure out what you want to say before you start talking about your mental health. You can also try writing a script to guide you through the conversation if having notes makes you feel more comfortable.
Give a Heads-Up
Once you choose someone to talk to, let them know you want to have a serious conversation and ask them to set aside time. If they’re not distracted, they’re likely to be more receptive to what you have to say.
Go at Your Own Pace
If the thought of having a personal conversation feels overwhelming, remember that it’s okay to take it slow. It’s up to you how much you want to share at any given time, and you can always ask for breaks to recollect your thoughts. Remember, opening up about your mental health is about more than one conversation – it’s about sharing what you can as you feel ready.
Don’t Downplay Your Experience
Many people are worried that they’ll come off as attention-seeking or dramatic if they share the full extent of their experience. But you should never invalidate yourself to try and make others comfortable – especially the people closest to you. Being honest is the best way to get the help and support you need.
Don’t Worry About Messing Up
There’s no “right” way to start talking about your mental health, so you can never really mess up. What’s important is that you’re telling people how you feel and asking for help. You’ll know you’ve succeeded when you sit down with someone who can help you.
At Jamison Consultants, we’re committed to providing our patients with therapeutic and behavioral health services that will make a lasting difference in their lives. Our licensed therapists and counselors are equipped to care for patients with a variety of mental health diagnoses during individual, group, or family therapy, school-based counseling, or crisis management sessions. Learn more about our behavioral health services here.