How do I know I need to talk to someone?
We can all go through tough times in our lives. We may feel anxious, sad, lonely, stressed, angry and other negative emotions from time to time. These feelings may seem like they’ve just come out of nowhere, or you may have had a stressful or traumatic experience and this is impacting on how you’re feeling. These feelings might also be a sign of a mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression.
Whatever the cause, if your negative emotions are becoming worse and having an impact on your wellbeing and ability to function, it might be that you need to talk to someone about what you’re going through. This is the first step towards getting the support you need, and returning to the healthy and happy life you deserve.
Who can I talk to about my problems?
If you’re struggling with mental health issues, experiencing some difficult feelings, or just feel generally overwhelmed with everything, it’s a good idea to identify people in your life who will be able to listen and support you.
A trained professional
If your feelings are having a detrimental impact on your wellbeing, it might be one of the signs you need to see a therapist. If you're life is being severely damaged, it’s really important that you speak to a professional about what you’re going through.
An initial step may be for you to speak to your GP. They’ll be able to evaluate your symptoms and recommend an appropriate course of action in terms of treatment and next steps. They may also be able to refer you to a mental health provider such as Priory, to receive specialist help.
Alternatively, you can contact Priory directly. Our friendly team are always here to listen to your concerns and recommend an appropriate treatment programme for you. We offer specialist inpatient, day care and outpatient treatment, depending on your needs, as well as evidence-based therapy formats and types. We also offer market-leading online therapy, meaning you can access expert support at a time and a place that works for you.
Friends and family
Have a think about people in your personal life that you’re close to and that you trust. You may have close friends and family that you feel able to talk to.
Once you’ve established who the person you trust the most is, it can be beneficial to be open and honest about what you’re experiencing. You don’t have the tell them everything straightaway; you could start small, as opening up may make you feel a little vulnerable at first. When you’re sure you feel comfortable talking to this person, you can be as open as you wish.
Remember, this person cares about you and won’t want you to suffer in silence. Instead, they’ll be able to listen to what you’re going through and provide emotional support.
You could also speak to one of the many charities that are dedicated to helping people with emotional problems or life struggles.
These are usually telephone helplines that are operated by trained and highly compassionate individuals. They’ll be able to listen to you without judgement, and provide words of comfort and advice.
An example of one such charity is the Samaritans. They’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are always on hand to support you. The number to call, alongside some others, are below:
Mental Health Helplines
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): 0800 58 58 58 (5pm to midnight every day)
SANEline: 0300 304 7000 (4:30pm to 10:30pm every day)
Samartians: 0808 164 0123 (open 24/7 every day)
National Suicide Prevention Helpline: 0800 689 5652 (open 24/7 every day)
Someone at work
If your emotional problems are impacting on your ability to function in your daily life, this might mean you’re also struggling with mental health issues in the workplace. You may be lacking in motivation, finding it difficult to concentrate, or you may be struggling to go to work at all. If this is the case, it can be really useful to speak to someone at work, letting them know how you’re feeling and how this is affecting you professionally.
A first port of call might be your line manager or your HR department. They’ll be able to find out more about how you’re feeling and how it’s impacting your work, and put things in place to support you. Your organisation may have a dedicated employee assistance programme (EAP) or other professional support package in place to help employees who are struggling with their mental health. These can be invaluable and can be a really great starting point towards getting back on track. By speaking to your line manager or HR department, you’ll be able to make the best use of the services that are available to you.
If, for whatever reason, you don’t feel able to approach your line manager or someone in HR, you may want to speak to a trusted colleague instead. You can let them know how you’re feeling and how this is affecting your work. They’ll be able to provide emotional support in a workplace context, be your spokesperson if needed, or provide moral support if and when you do wish to escalate your problems.
What can I do if I have no one to talk to?
It's not always the case that everyone has immediate access to someone close to them that they can confide in. If this is the case for you, here are some tips for coping with loneliness and what you can do next:
- Know that you are not alone. If you need someone to talk to but there's no one obvious around you, make use of the helplines above. There's absolutely no shame in reaching out. They're staffed by trained, compassionate professionals who will do one thing above all else - listen.
- Write a daily gratitude list, helping you to focus on the positives in your life. Expand this out and make it into a thought journal, keeping track of your emotions and the reasons behind them.
- Use the internet. There are lots of helpful, friendly online groups and forums with likeminded people who just want to connect with other people. It doesn't even have to be explicitly about mental health; find what interests you and get involved. Social media is a great place to start finding groups like this.
- Engage in some self-care. We all need to look after ourselves, so adopting some of the many types of self-care can help improve your mood and self-esteem.
For guidance on how Priory can help put you on the path to recovery from difficulties with your mental health, call 0330 056 6020 or get in touch via email and our compassionate team will be in touch.