Are we leaving it too late?
I spend enough of my time wondering what is it that stops people from getting the help they think they just might need. As I sit and write this post, I find myself being extra cautious of the words I might use or not use to get my message across.If I offend anyone in particular or general, please feel free to PM me.
Every now and again (too often for my liking) we children being victims of a parent’s mental illness and this pushes our buttons in all the way possible.
I have not read the Manor Lake incident in detail and will not do so, just the headlines that I scrolled past were enough. My sympathies with the family of the children, the victims of this accident. I am not going to speculate if the driver was their parent or if he or she experienced some form of breakdown to undertake this horrible action.
When I ask people in my person and professional life, what is it that stops from getting a mental health assessment or seeing someone to speak to or get skills to manage life more effectively – these are some of the responses I get.
Too busy/ lack of time – seriously? You cannot afford to take one hour out in a week to manage your mental health so that all the other 167 hours a week are spent more effectively and eventually your whole life? Free phone counselling is provided by various organisations, it doesn’t compare to an individual session but you still have someone to talk to and get some skills from (Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636, LifeLine – 13 11 14 – these two and few others are not only for those experiencing suicidal ideations but anyone experiencing emotional/psychological crisis)
Financial restrains – bulk billing services are available, free counselling is provided for various organisations including phone counselling
The ‘issue’ will magically disappear or get under control – how ? and if one ‘issue’ goes away, another one might come along. And if an individual is more prone to experiencing stress for example, their reaction to most situations would be similar! I am not saying everyone needs to see a professional the second they experiencing some form of crisis, but if its impacting one’s life in more ways than one, and inturn impacting their family too – yes, they need to seek help.
Tried in the past and didn’t help – different professionals have different methods of working. Just because you did not end up benefiting from one form of therapy or a particular approach, does not mean you write them all off. And would trying therapy be worse than what you (and your loved ones) are experiencing at the moment?
Social taboo – Counselling and Mental Health issues are still a big ‘no no’ topics of discussions in most culture, and some individuals are concerned about others finding out about their need to seek help. Counselling is an extremely private and confidential affair (apart from some extreme cases) and therefore its nobody’s business. In the end, you are going through what you are, all by yourself and your immediate family is catching the brunt of it!
Lack of support from partner/family members – This can be a tough one to overcome at times. Most people expect and appreciate support and encouragement from loved ones when they are undertaking something new, and yes, ideally that should be the case. But unfortunately not everyone has to ability to provide the support their loved ones need to be open about their feelings and seek help to manage them more effectively! In the end, it may just be your battle to fight alone and the support and guidance from the psychologist is what you may have to settle for.
There is a reason why we use the term – Early Intervention or phrases like ‘Better Safe than Sorry’! We, mums mostly, will rush to the Dr at the first sign of our child or partner coughing or coming up with a rash – but will find and use all the excuses under the sun not to seek help ourselves. (I am not suggesting that all untreated cases of mental disorders will lead to extreme outcomes). But are we too blind to see or too delusional to realise that if WE are not okay, our children WILL SUFFER THE MOST! I often say that one has to reach their ‘tipping point’ to make changes or to seek help or to speak up. But sometimes there may be no returning from the tipping
If you feel you know someone that Just Might Be experiencing some form of stress, anxiety, depression, domestic violence etc – speak the F up! It is not an easy topic to bring up and suggest that someone needs help but it just might save the life or relationship of someone you care about!
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