Self Help

A popular theme surrounding mental illness is self help (AKA self care, self love, positivity, etc). This is where people have reached the stage of recognising that they have a mental illness and want to take care of themselves and others that are struggling with the same thing. Having an illness can be quite a burden to keep on top of, so it is important to take time to step back, relax, and do what you have to do to feel better about the situation.

There are many, many forms of self help. The most common appear to be physical objects that cater to a side affect of an illness (e.g. stimulation toys – I found a really good master post about them here). However, it goes much deeper than this. For example, self help may be to sit in a safe, quiet room with a friend for a while if you have anxiety. It could be taking a day away from everyone and everything to pamper yourself, just because you’ve had an awful week and you deserve it; even planning a holiday away (for example, my mother suffers with Seasonal Annual Depression so goes skiing every winter).

Personally I find that self help is a very important part of my daily life, and I know that it is for many of my friends also. Being able to help yourself through these things is a good place to be, because you can’t always rely on other people to pick you up again. However, you can always turn to the internet for help too. There and hundreds of hotlines, websites and people suffering with the same things that are totally devoted to helping people feel better. One of these organisations is called Samaritans; they offer help to those who need it via telephone, email, letter and drop-in sessions. Not everybody who is suffering with a mental illness is comfortable with going to a GP, family member, or counsellor for help, so organisations like this offer a safe, neutral space for people to go and seek help and support.




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