It’s no lie that sometimes people need help with their mental health, whether it’s a psychiatrist or a therapist or a mental health professional you are entitled to this help. There is no shame in asking for help when it comes to mental health, but it’s normal to be a little or a lot scared while doing so. The journey of seeking help is long and scary sometimes but it’s worth it. Now, considering my experience I think the hardest part was mustering up the courage to tell my parents: ‘hey, this is wrong and I want to fix it’. It’s also hard for your parents or guardian if they’ve never had to look into mental health professionals. So I took the liberties to reflect on my experience and the preparations I took to ask my parents.
DO YOUR RESEARCH:
DO NOT SELF-DIAGNOSE WITHOUT DOING PROPER RESEARCH. It’s easier to ask for help when you know what you want; in my case I wanted to see a psychiatrist for OCD, so I looked into the DSM-5 definition and criteria. The DSM-5 is very credible and if you want to look into a mental disorder, you could also use other sources but the DSM-5 is the wagyu beef of references. Please do not go off of some buzzfeed quiz or some misconstrued and surface level understanding of a disorder. Even if you aren’t going for a diagnosis or for a specific issue it’s easier to go in knowing what you want to discuss to avoid some of the anxiety that comes with the uncertainty. Also no one knows you better than you know yourself so the more you know the better.
Talk to a friend:
In my personal experience it helps to talk to a trusted friend/sibling. Why? For many reasons, for example beykhaleek terateb afkarak (it allows you to organize your thoughts). When you talk about it to a friend it forces you to talk about it which makes it easier to talk about it to a professional. It allows you to remember the things you don’t, because when you think about it when you’re doing your research you’re like’ oh yes I experience this’ but when you’re talking about it to a friend you need to explain what you experience and maybe you’ll be like ‘oh sh*t I forgot about this’. Another thing is your friends or siblings might notice a few things that you don’t or things that you overlook.
Do your research pt. 2:
Now that you know what you want and how you could phrase it, it’s time to find the person you are comfortable saying it to. Looking for the right mental health professional is hard, but you have to trust your gut. Really look into the mental health professionals and do trust the vibes you get when looking at them. They are more often than not correct because if you’re getting iffy vibes from looking at a picture of them the chances are that you won’t feel comfortable seeing them.
Plan out what you want to say and how:
You don’t need to get all up and personal with your parents or guardian, you just need to tell them the least information you can tell them to convey the point. An example: Hi mom, I think I have OCD, I looked at a bunch of resources and I analyzed my actions and thoughts. I realized that I count things in only threes and eights and if things are not done in a specific predetermined order I get panic attacks and I will not touch things because I am afraid that they are contaminated.
You don’t need to pour your guts out, but you need to get a little vulnerable, just don’t share what you’re uncomfortable sharing. Find the things you’re okay with telling your parents about and say them. Also include the fact that you looked into mental health professionals and you know a list of a few people with their contact information.
Be patient with yourself:
Asking for help like this isn’t a straight and unbroken line, there might be a few bumps along the way. At times you will think it’s okay I don’t need to go now I could wait a few years, it’s fine I don’t even need to see a professional, maybe I don’t deserve to see a professional; please be patient with yourself. Be patient with yourself, I know it’s scary but it’s worth it, and even if you’re not going for a diagnosis or a specific issue you deserve this guidance and help. Mental health professionals are also here to guide you and help you understand your emotions, they will not judge you for the reason you came. Seeing a mental health professional is not something you need to earn, qualify for, or have to wait for.
List them facts:
Let’s say that your parents or guardians aren’t convinced, do research and list the advantages of seeing a therapist or psychiatrist or a mental health professional. If your parents or guardians think that it doesn’t work or if they’re on the fence about it, use facts. Talk about how it teaches you new coping mechanisms, mention the long term events, mention that it gives you an outlet to express yourself and talk about the changes that will happen. You can talk about how it helps you understand, even if you’re not going for one specific issue.
I’m so proud of you for doing this, it’s not easy to ask for help at all; when I asked for help I remember that my heart was beating through my chest but nothing compares to how it felt knowing that I would be receiving the help I deserve. Please remember that you are deserving of this help, you are worthy and someone will understand you. Your struggles are valid and they deserve to be treated in the way that you see fits. There is no shame whatsoever in wanting this and asking for it. You are worth it, you are deserving of this, you are entitled to this help and it is your right to be understood and guided.