4.8. Getting Help for Your Mental Health

The day you have the courage to get help will be the most important day of your life.

No matter how good your life is…there’s probably going to come a point when you’re going to need to get some help during a tough time.

When that time comes…it can be really hard to take that first step.

I know, from my own experience.

I wrestled with depression, anxiety, and addictions throughout most of my twenties.

I felt the guilt, the shame, the loneliness, and helplessness that comes with those struggles.

I even tried to kill myself once.

I spent my fair share of time trying to do it both ways: on my own, and with help.

And I can tell you the sooner you get help, the sooner you’ll get your life back.

I thought about getting help for a long time, before I actually did.

I came up with a lot of excuses not to.

I worried I’d feel like a failure.

I worried other people would treat me differently.

I worried I’d take medicine that would mess me up, or end up with a bad therapist.

I wanted my family and friends to support me—not because I had to pay someone to care.

What I failed to realize until much later is you can’t be complacent about this stuff.

You have to be proactive. You have to be a fighter. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get back to being healthy and happy.

Who cares what other people think? They don’t know what you’re going through.

Your brain is like any other organ in your body. Sometimes it doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. Sometimes it gets stuck in a rut. Sometimes it makes you miserable or panicked for no good reason.

Your family and friends—I bet you anything they want to help you, even if it looks like they’re hesitant to get too involved.

The reason they’re holding back is because they don’t know how to help. What you’re going through is too big, raw, and overwhelming for them.

That’s what you pay for, when you get help. Not for someone to care. For someone who’s capable. For someone with the expertise to guide you out of the darkness.

You aren’t a failure. Some studies show that as many as half of all college students will need professional help during their time in school.

How can it be a personal failing, when half the population is affected?

We don’t shame people for getting other kinds of treatment. And we shouldn’t shame them for getting this kind of help.

If you’re overwhelmed, if you’re struggling to function and do what you need to do, get help.

Don’t mess around. And don’t worry about style points.

It’s your life. It’s invaluable. There’s no better investment you can make.

I failed to quit my addictions the first ninety-nine times…but eventually I succeeded.

I failed to find the right therapist and medication at first…but eventually I succeeded.

Now I’m 34, I’m married, I have a doctorate, and I’m doing work I love.

The day you have the courage to get help will be the most important day of your life—because you’ll owe all the great experiences you have later to that first, courageous step.

 

This is the 68th in a series of over 150 videos about how to create real, lasting social change. Click here for a list of all titles, videos, and transcripts.

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