Do I need help?
I don’t know about you, but I find it hard sometimes to ask for help. This can be particularly true when what we need is not practical help, but help dealing with life. The problem is compounded when we feel weak because we can’t cope or worry about the stigma that is still attached to admitting that we have a “mental problem”. Often the first issue is being aware that we are suffering from, for example, anxiety and then actually being prepared to admit to ourselves that something is wrong.
Firstly, you are not alone! According to the Mental Health Foundation, in 2013, there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety in the UK and women are almost twice as likely to suffer as men. But how do we know what a normal level of worry is and when it’s time to take action? Frequently, anxiety levels gradually get worse and so we don’t necessarily notice the difference - it’s just ‘how we are’. So here are some clues:
- You feel anxious most of the time and this has been going on for months.
- You struggle to get to sleep, wake often and can’t get back to sleep.
- There is not always (or ever) an obvious cause for your anxiety.
- Your health is affected - you suffer from aches and pains and catch all the bugs going.
- Your don’t enjoy life and maybe stop doing things you used to enjoy.
- You need to have everything under control and/or perfect.
- You suffer from panic attacks (heart racing, palms sweating) possibly afraid you’re having a heart attack.
You don’t need to be suffering from all of these - my simple statement is, "If how you are feeling is having a serious and regular affect on your life, then it’s time to seek help". But what will people think? "All my friends (particularly my Facebook friends!) seem to have got it sorted and are living the life of their dreams!" Don’t believe the hype! That friend who seems supremely confident and self-assured has probably developed a ‘mask’ that she hides behind and she may think the same about you!
It’s hard to accept that something is wrong but the consequences if you don’t can be serious. Your anxiety is likely to escalate as you become anxious about more things (including being anxious about being anxious!). Your low mood will be affecting your close friends, family and your physical health. It can start with headaches and digestive problems and may lead to high blood pressure and heart problems.
So it’s important to find help, but what help is the best? Obviously I have a biased view about the benefits of hypnotherapy, but there are lots of options if you look online. The key is to find a therapy and a person that is right for you and hopefully, taking that first hard step to ask for help will start your recovery.
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About Judith Hanson
I specialise is helping people, women in particular, with anxiety fears and phobias and I'm passionate about helping them to regain the joy in their lives.