Why do we shy away from asking for support or help? Why do so many people see it as a sign of weakness? I struggle with this too and wonder why. I ask this question 10 days after a local mom took her life and left behind two kids and a ton of friends completely dumbfounded as to why she took her life. People who thought she was a happy, stable mom who had it all together and was in a good place.
So let’s look at a local hero…John Elway. Do people truly believe that he got to where is by never asking for help? When athletes need to do better with their skills or need to build strength or stamina, they don’t do it on their own. They ask for help. They hire a coach. They hire many coaches. So let me get this straight…it’s ok for athletes and famous people to hire help and ask for support but it’s not ok for us? Does that make any sense?
Here’s another example. If you decide you want to renovate your kitchen, do you just take a sledge hammer and start destroying what you have (not unless you are Chip and Joanna!)? NO. You hire someone to come give you a bid and you ASK FOR THEIR EXPERTISE! You ask for help. You may not think of it that way, you may just see it as hiring out the job but truly you are asking for help because it’s something you cannot do yourself. WHY DOES MENTAL HEALTH HAVE SUCH A DIFFERENT SCOPE OF WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE?
I ask this because I truly don’t understand. The stigma about how mental health is a taboo topic boggles my mind. If you have cancer, everyone brings a casserole but if you have a mental breakdown no one wants to talk to you about it because it’s so taboo. WHY?
Postpartum depression is often one of the first times women experience a depression that paralyzes them or makes them stop and wonder what is happening to their mind, body, emotions, weight, etc. This is often the first “taste” of depression but it certainly isn’t the last. So many women start with a mile case of postpartum depression that lingers and festers and may or may not ever be diagnosed and medicated or cared for. THIS is how things get out of hand and THIS is how women then feel that leaving this world is the only way out. Yes, that is a very extreme example but postpartum depression is a REAL community issue and when women don’t feel that they can reach out and ask for help, we just don’t know where their mental health will end up.
What’s the answer? Well, first of all, stop making mental health a taboo subject to talk about and let’s be REAL. Let’s talk about mental health and really get the support we need. Let’s be there for one another and reach out to that friend you haven’t talked to in awhile and make sure they are ok. Even the mom who seems to have it all together and seems happy, they may need support and just don’t know how to ask for it. Ask them if they need to talk and offer your ear. ASK for help if you are in need. Reach out. You have people who love you and care about you and would love to talk to you and support you WAY more than they want to attend your funeral.
Let’s be real people. Go be a badass.