culture & community health

Asking For Help: An Act of Courage

by Myranda — September 10, 2019
Silhouettes of two people at the top of a mountain, one helping pull the other up. "Asking for help up a Mountain" as a metaphor for depression.

Recently, a friend of mine asked for help. Summer was rough for her and her partner – for a number of reasons – including a tragic death in the family. Feeling overwhelmed, she reached out to friends and family on Facebook. She outlined how she was struggling, and put out a list of things she could use some help doing.

I’ve been thinking about that call for help a lot lately. As someone who also struggles with mental health, I am all too familiar with that feeling. The one where you struggle to stay afloat, where even small things seem all too much, where small things are too much.

Yet when my friend was hitting that depression tipping point, she asked for help. She listed concrete things that we could do for her: from walking her dogs, gardening, and even inviting her along to do healthy things. She stated what she needed, and the community delivered. That’s amazing.

A hand rising out of the water in stormy seas.

Asking for help when you’re in that spiral is so hard. For instance, I remember telling myself over and over that I had no business feeling the way I was feeling. As though somehow just telling myself to just stop circling the drain should be enough to fix my brain. And believing that not being able to rise up on my own was a personal failure.

There’s no silver bullet to fix depression. There are lots of different mechanisms that help differently for different people. What works for me (medication and exercise) might not work for someone else. Most importantly, it is good to remember there’s a community out there, and that we’re in this together. We can reach out and pull each other up and out, and that’s a big win, looking nothing remotely like failure.

Mentally, I’m in a good place right now. I’m able to be a part of the community to help a friend in distress. Equally, it’s especially reassuring to be reminded that if I’m ever in need of it again, I also have an amazing community willing to help me.

Resources for asking for help:

Understanding and Finding Help for Depression (Canada)

Depression in Kids and Teens (Australia)

Depression in Older Adults: Signs, Symptoms, Treatment (United Kingdom)

Photo of hand by Ian Espinosa on Unsplash
Main Photo of person helping other person: by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

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