bipolar

Mental Health: Using Your Experiences To Help Others

Every year almost 1 in 5 (around 42.5 million) American adults suffer from some sort of mental health issue, including, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. This is a scarily large figure, which only becomes more scary when you realize that it doesn’t take into account the huge numbers of cases of mental health issues within teenagers and younger children too. This large figure means that, although there are a lot of people suffering from mental health issues, there are also a lot of people that are suffering or have suffered, and want to use their experiences with mental health to help others. If you have suffered from a mental health issue, you will be able to better understand the person whom you are trying to help – You can also share your own experiences, so they don’t feel alone. Many people do this, and I have listed a few different ways in which you too can take your experience with mental health to help others. Of course, none of these options are a replacement of professional help, they are simply others forms of support, and forms that often help a person to realize that something may be wrong, and that they may need professional help.

Mentoring

If you are still of school or college age, then mentoring might be a good option for you. It allows you to engage one on one with people the same age as or a little bit younger than you and provide them support and guidance. Most people, when they first realize that something may be wrong with them do one of two things – They either search for their symptoms online or talk to a friend. As we all know, Googling symptoms is never a good idea, as it always says somewhere down the line that you’re dying of some rare disease that you don’t even find in your country. Talking to a friend, however, that is helpful. Friends are there to provide you emotional support, so are often the first people you tell about a mental health issue, even before family. However, some people may feel as though they don’t have a friend they can truly trust, and confide in, which is why peer-to-peer mentoring is such a good idea – It provides you with a confidant, who you can trust to listen to you and try to help you if they can.

Blogging

Blogging can assist you in helping others on a much wider scale than one to one mentoring. Depending on your experiences, you can write about a range of topics from self-help and techniques on coping with stress, to any medication you may be taking. Many people with mental health issues feel completely alone, but simply sharing your experiences can change that, and help them have a much more positive view of themselves. Blogging allows you the option to remain anonymous, and with plenty of useful tools and websites online, setting up a blog nowadays is relatively easy, so there’s absolutely no reason why this couldn’t be an option for you.

Vlogging

In the past few years watching your favorite channels on YouTube seems to be more popular than watching your favorite channels on an actual television, so if you wanted to aim your support and guidance at younger adults and teenagers, vlogging is a brilliant idea. There are many wonderful YouTube channels based solely on mental health, which have videos based on the suggested topics of blog posts from above. Many of the bigger YouTubers, such as Zoella and JackGap, also use their channels as a platform to talk about their own experiences with their mental health. This allows young people with mental health issues to feel more ‘normal’, by knowing that their favorite YouTube star also suffers from the same things as they do. There are many helpful guides online that explain to you how to set up a YouTube channel, which can make the whole process a lot easier – All you need now is a camera.

Become A Therapist

A therapist is a mental health professional, who assists their patients in reducing their symptoms of mental illness, by improving their emotional and cognitive skills, and teaching them how to cope with various challenges from everyday life. Granted, this isn’t the easiest way to share your experiences concerning mental health, and it certainly takes a lot of dedication, but if it’s what you want to do, then it is definitely possible. By taking an online psychology degree, you can study and get the qualifications you need to commence in higher education, while still having the time to hold down a full-time job.

Join A Therapy Group

If you don’t want to become a therapist yourself, joining a therapy group is another great way to share your experiences with mental health. Not only will it help you, as you can share you problems, hear others advice, and hear other people’s own experiences, but you can also help out other in the group in the same way. This is a lot like mentoring, except it’s not on a one to one basis, which in the long run might be better for some people – It provides you with a group of people who understand you, rather than just one, which could provide you with a sense of belonging.

All of these are great ways of using your own experiences with mental health to help others. Many of them could also help you improve your own mental health at the same time, as they provide you with an audience to which you can let out any feelings and emotions that you may have been keeping bottled up. However, you must always remember that, although you may want to help people, and although you may have in-depth experience of your own mental health problems, unless you do train to become a therapist, you are not a professional. You can certainly provide advice and support, but you need to know when to let a person know that you are out of your depth and that they need to speak to a professional.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Worried About A Friend? Here’s How You Can Help

Everyone cares about their friends, that should hardly come as much of a surprise to anyone! Your friends and loved ones are the people around you who make life more than just a day-to-day slog of going to work and coming home again. They are the people you go on adventures with, that you make memories with, so it only makes sense that you would always have your friends best interests at heart, no matter what. Of course, that doesn’t mean that lending a hand to your friend when they need it is easy. In fact, it’s one of the toughest things that you can do. Knowing how to respond to something that a loved one is going through can be a real challenge but, when the only other option is leaving them behind, it’s worth putting in the effort. Here are a few things that you can do to reach out to someone you love in order to offer them the best possible support.

Practical Advice

Sometimes, when you’ve got a friend or loved one who is going through something really difficult, it can be almost impossible for them to see a way out of it. Whether they’re stuck in a job that they hate, they’re dealing with a nasty break-up, or going through any of the other things that can knock a person to the ground; they’re often not in a position to see things practically. In that case, you’re in a great position to offer them a perspective that they simply can’t otherwise achieve. You can help them understand the big picture and see that. However, bad things might seem right now; they won’t be that way forever.

Tough Love

Of course, sometimes the help that you give to your friends needs to be a little harder edged than that. There are plenty of occasions where the problems that someone is having are down to their actions alone. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be there for them. Just that you need to adjust your tactics. While offering them solutions can often be incredibly useful; sometimes what they really need it a kick up the backside to get them back on track. If there’s an aspect of their lifestyle which is hurting them and other people around them, then you may need to be the one to confront them about it, pointing them towards things like the recovery village if they really need support. If things aren’t working out in your friend’s life and it comes down the way that they are behaving; your duty as a friend should be to be to hold them accountable.

Just Listen

Sometimes the best thing you can do is actually the simplest thing: just listen to them. When someone is going through something difficult, it can feel incredibly lonely and frustrating for them. Because of this, just getting to vent to another person, or talk something through can be the most helpful thing of all. Don’t feel like you always have to be there to come up with solutions for them; sometimes just being there so that they can bounce thoughts and feelings off you, coming to their own set of solutions, is the most valuable thing of all.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Latest from Instagram

Copyright © 2018 · Theme by 17th Avenue