Need Help Getting Help

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I need help for anxiety and depression. I have had problems with anxiety for a long time, at least a decade. I’ve never had a job. I’m to afraid about making a mistake. I was only able to complete a semester at college. I’ve never had any friends or anyone to take to. I realize I need help but I can’t even talk to family about it. I’ve try to call a couple hotlines but always hang up before they pick-up. How can I get help?

A. Fear is crippling your life. Treatment first requires that you face your fears and ask for help. You have lost at least a decade of your life to anxiety and depression. Both are treatable conditions. It’s time to seek help. I know it’s been difficult for you but even if you’re frightened I would strongly encourage you to seek help.

You mentioned your family but said that you can’t talk to them. They may know that you need help. They may want to help you but are not sure how. If you feel uncomfortable speaking to them try writing your family a letter or an e-mail about how you feel. With that information, they may be able to set up a therapy appointment for you. They may also be willing to attend the appointment with you. They might be a good source of support.

The nature of anxiety is unrealistic fear. Individuals with anxiety disorders are often frightened of situations in which there is nothing realistic to fear. This seems true in your specific case. You are thinking about situations inaccurately and coming to the wrong conclusions. An example of this is the fact that you are frightened of asking for help when in reality there is nothing to be afraid of. Millions of people are helped by mental health professionals. It works for other people and it can work for you too.

Anxiety is a progressive disorder in that it tends to become worse over time. This is the nature of anxiety. The more one avoids situations that frighten them, the more anxiety levels tend to increase. The good news is that this progression can be reversed with treatment.

As I mentioned above, try talking to your family. They may be able to assist you. Another alternative is to research therapists in your community who treat anxiety and depression. Contact them and speak to them about your fears regarding treatment. You can speak to them over the phone. They may be able to help you feel more comfortable. Therapists understand that the idea of attending treatment can be frightening to some people. In reality, therapy is not at all unpleasant or frightening. Many things that initially seem frightening turn out to be not at all frightening.

Here is a link to a website where you can research therapists and their specializations. I understand this may seem very difficult for you at this time but accessing treatment could save you from another decade of suffering. I wish you luck. I hope you are able to access help. Thank you for your question.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 May 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). Need Help Getting Help. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/05/27/need-help-getting-help/