The title says it all: you are not alone in your suffering. Every single person you encounter today—your coworker, your boss, the guy sitting next to you in traffic, the person you just passed on the street—is struggling with something. And more likely than not, they could all use a little assistance or support.
“I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again..”
I talked to several mental health professionals who further account for the fact that we all face unique challenges; and oftentimes, we need help overcoming said challenges. These counselors and psychologists see clients with a variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, feelings of inadequacy, and loneliness:
- “We primarily see anxiety and related disorders within our practice and over the past four years I have found that anxiety and depression are the primary challenges bringing people into our office.” -Courtney Hubscher, Licensed Mental Health Counselor at GroundWork Counseling
- “The issue I see most often has to do with not feeling ________ enough. The fill in the blank space most often has to do with body image/appearance among women and wealth/worth among men. It boils down to feelings of inadequacy, vulnerability, comparison, and not measuring up to some sort of ideal.” -Dr. Elayne Daniels, a 20-year full-time private practice psychologist from Yale
- “A lot of anxiety, which is often derived from low self-esteem. My clients put themselves down constantly. They say things to themselves that they would never say to anyone else.” -Licensed Mental Health Counselor Christine Fuchs
- “One common issue that patients present with is loneliness. Often this is described as boredom, but when we explore deeper, it is usually loneliness that people are really struggling with.” -Licensed Psychologist Alexis Conason
Therapy is designed to assist individuals in confronting and managing whatever challenge they are facing. As you can see above, these issues may involve a mental illness or instead revolve around harmful beliefs like, “I’m not good enough.” In any regard, the care and guidance of a mental health professional lies at the center and proves to better patients’ lives time and time again. Still, some people prefer to take a different approach in dealing with problems—and that’s okay too!
The key is finding what works best for you. Individuals who don’t feel comfortable talking to a counselor or therapist might utilize self-care techniques to improve their self-esteem, alleviate stress and anxiety through exercise, or decide to open up and receive helpful advice in a different way: such as through a mental health discussion board.
The Unabashed Power of Community
Mental health forums allow users to ask questions, give advice, read discussions, and ultimately become part of a caring community. Topics might include moving on after a difficult breakup, better managing depression, or simply being more productive at work. Here’s an example of how a forum post might unfold:
My boyfriend and I dated for close to two years, and I thought one day he would be my husband. Then, out of nowhere, he broke up with me for another girl. He appears to be doing just fine, but I can’t seem to get over him. I’ve tried to call him a few times, but he always sends me to voicemail. If I could just get him out of my mind, I wouldn’t be so depressed. How do I move on with my life? Will I ever be happy again?
-I was in your shoes not too long ago. My girlfriend and I broke up, and I was completely heartbroken. Within a few weeks, she was dating some other guy, which made it all that much worse. It took some time to get closure and feel okay again, but I promise you’ll make it through! Just know that it’s okay to not be okay.
-I’m a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and have extensive experience working with couples as well as individuals who have gone through a recent breakup or divorce. My advice for you is to focus on yourself during this time. Take this opportunity to get to know yourself again and cater to what you want and need out of life. Get that gym membership you’ve been thinking about; spend more time with your friends and family; pick up a new hobby like rock climbing or painting—do what makes you happy!
Thriveworks has just launched its very own mental health discussion board, Thriveworks Community, which is moderated by several mental health professionals. You can visit this forum to read about all of the aforementioned challenges and how you can overcome them, to post your own question, or to participate in a discussion. We hope to hear from you soon, and we look forward to you joining our community!