Opening up about your mental health is not easy. You may fear judgment from society. You may be unsure of the reception, even from your closest circles. However, talking about your mental health has more benefits than drawbacks. One of the biggest advantages is not having to go through a tough time alone.
Talking about your mental health concerns to other people doesn’t have to be scary. Learn how to converse about your mental well-being with our simple guide.
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Preparing well for a mental health conversation is more than just psyching yourself up to open up about your condition or illness. Here is how you can get ready to talk about your mental health challenges.
You may think your parents or close friend is the first person you can talk to about mental health. But your social support network may be more comprehensive than you think. Consider these people to talk to as well.
While discussing mental health doesn’t always produce an actionable outcome, expressing your destination is a good idea. Simply state what you want to achieve, but don’t force it. It can be “I just need you to listen” or “Can you help decide what to do next?” without getting specific.
Don’t be disappointed or offended if the person you’re talking to doesn’t react as you want them to. There are various reasons why they don’t respond as you expect them to. While your mental health challenges are valid, you must also keep your expectations accurate.
Make sure you choose a good time to talk. If the person you’re talking to is busy, the time may be wrong. If you’re unsure when the right time is, try to ask the other person when is a good time for them to talk.
You’ll want a quiet, serene place with a cozy atmosphere for the conversation. Any place that puts you at ease, outdoors or indoors, can be ideal.
When talking to the people closest to you, you may not demand them to sign a non-disclosure agreement. But you can still ask them to keep your conversation a secret. If privacy and confidentiality are paramount to you, don’t hesitate to ask them.
There’s no right or wrong way to approach a discussion about mental health. One thing is for sure: you may feel vulnerable… and this is normal. Being vulnerable can mean being honest. And as long as you’re genuine about your personal experiences, your talk will be practical.
But where to start? Start with your emotions. How do you feel right now? Are you happy or sad? Are you frustrated and anxious? Once you’ve identified your feelings, expressing them verbally becomes easier.
It also helps to be specific with your emotions. Simply saying “I feel bad” may not give the person you’re talking to enough context. Try to elaborate, like “I haven’t been sleeping well. I keep getting nightmares about losing everything.” A fuller explanation can help you identify what triggers your emotions.
Another effective strategy is to use “I” statements. That’s when you say something that focuses on you. “I feel overwhelmed when I’m expected to be perfect” can explain your condition better than “They’re pressuring me to be perfect.”
The person lending you their listening ear may react and interpret your words differently. So, give them as much context and examples as possible. They need them to grasp your emotions fully. Don’t get discouraged by a seemingly negative response. The person listening may not understand your situation, which is not proof they are bad friends.
When talking to a friend doesn’t help, don’t worry. Many people find it easier to have difficult conversations about mental health topics with a stranger, like a clinical psychiatrist or psychologist. A professional mental health service like NeuroSpa can fulfill this role for you.
NeuroSpa offers a personalized approach to treating your mental health conditions. Our mental health professionals provide essential treatments like talk therapy and psychiatric care. But there are also advanced treatments for mental health struggles. Ketamine therapy and TMS therapy, for example, can help with the more serious mental health conditions..
The mental health team at NeuroSpa is just an appointment away. Schedule an appointment today and get the help you need.
In times of crisis, your safety and well-being are of utmost importance. If you or someone you know is struggling with active thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please remember that help is available. Reach out to emergency services immediately by dialing 911, or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) for compassionate support, guidance, and resources. Remember, you are not alone, and there are people who care and want to help you through this difficult time.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive procedure that uses a magnetic field to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. This treatment has been found to be effective in treating a variety of conditions such as depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.