As most people who have had to find help for themselves or their loved ones’ due to a mental health concern will likely tell you, treading the path to find treatment is an uphill walk to begin with. Getting in touch with the right people, asking the right questions, making the right choices, none of it is easy, especially at the beginning. If you ask me though, I think one of the biggest stumbling blocks on the way to receiving treatment is a short four-letter word. That’s right, fear.
Why fear? Because its an often crippling emotion. It causes hesitation, or withdrawing from many things. I believe it is one of the most powerful emotions due to its ability to petrify people to the core. So how does this tie in with getting treatment? Well in short, if you’re terrified of what the outcome may be, you probably won’t want to get treatment will you? Maybe the fear of what others will think, fear of hospitals, side-effects, the list could go on for ages. The point is that fear can quite often be debilitating, or cause enough delay that things really go down the tubes.
So what do you do about fear? There really is no right answer if you ask me. Some people are able to transcend their fears and get treatment, others are able to lean on the compassionate shoulder of a loved one in times of need. And sometimes, treatment is downright involuntary. I’m not saying that any of these are going to work for anybody, or that any are more effective than the other. It all depends on the individual situation as it arises. I’m not going to tell anybody what is best for them because I can’t possibly know, what’s best for you is between you and your care team.
So, what can you do about fear? Reach out, ask questions, communicate with those around you who know about your condition. I’ve often found that talking it out with others can usually cut my fears down to size. Because fear feeds on itself, it has a habit of snowballing into what seems like an impossible task. But think of it this way. Whether you have schizophrenia, anxiety, OCD, bipolar, depression, any condition really, think of all the people who have been where you are now, how many of them get past it one way or another? Lots. Just remember that you’re not alone.