Today I will be discussing different ways of getting help, as well as overcoming the fears of reaching out due to the stigma around mental illness.
Getting help is often very daunting and difficult to do. However it is true that the only person who can get that help for you, is you. You have to be willing to push past that fear- there's such a stigma surrounding mental illness that it becomes very difficult to say you need that help. Unfortunately, if you're younger than 16 and want to talk to someone, then it has to be discussed with your parent/guardian. This should not put you off though, your mental health is a priority, in the long run, dealing with that fear of your parents knowing is not necessarily the worst thing.
In my experience, getting help was the hardest part of recovery. I had no idea who to speak to, when I was first struggling I was just 12/13 years old and I had no idea what to say to anybody, who to go to, or even make sense of the feelings that were consuming me every single day. Depending on your age, the people that you will need to go to all vary. For me, I had a good connection with one of the teachers at high school & that was really useful for me. I was then referred to 4YP, then CAMHS, the best thing to say to these people if you are in the process is anything and everything that's on your mind- they're not going to put you on medication straight away, that's never an immediate or positive route so don't think that you aren't being taken seriously just because they haven't prescribed you with meds. They'll tell you to take the natural route and come however often they think necessary- remember they have a lot of people to speak to, but you are still incredibly important!
People often say that your parents are the best to speak to, and although it is good to tell them, I don't think they're the best- friends are good but the pressures of speaking to parents can sometimes make you feel even worse. Saying that, if your relationship with your parents is very strong then telling them is good- especially if you're worried about yourself and they're big on worrying too. If you are struggling with therapy / anxious about it / concerned about starting- the best advice i can give is to just speak what's on your mind and let them know the truth, they cannot give you a clear diagnosis if you don't tell them the truth. They're not there to judge you, they're there to help, so do not be scared to tell them about anything- the main goal is to get better and be happy and healthy again and find those mechanisms of coping.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers with a platform to share and help others from their own experiences while also educating others on different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all teenagers around the world and support others. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.