Two Takes on Depression

Treating the very condition you live with––A clinician's dual perspective

How to Ask for Help

Do the myths of asking for help keep you stuck?

Some of us find it easy to ask for help from others. But for many, asking for help is NOT an easy thing to do. Do these myths keep you stuck? 

Myth: Asking for help makes us look vulnerable.

Truth: Asking for help creates an atmosphere of empowerment. It communicates to others that, while you may not have the answers, you are willing to find them and make things better.

Myth: Holding things in and keeping personal issues under wraps keeps us secure.

Truth: In reality, not allowing yourself to be "known" keeps you socially isolated, and therefore, insecure. When you seek the counsel of others, you'll not only connect with them, but you'll also realize that you're not alone in your struggle.

Myth: People feel put out when you ask for their help.

Truth: Doing it all can do you in. Being too self-sufficient can create stress levels that tip your physical, emotional and spiritual scales. Allowing others to help you makes them feel good. So everyone benefits.

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Myth: Highly successful people never ask for help.

Truth: Actually, successful individuals will tell you that the key to success is knowing your strengths and weaknesses. Learning how to delegate, asking for help and letting others show you the way are part of the plan. Successful people are driven and motivated -- and when the going gets tough, the tough ask for help!

Myth: I'm more of a giver than a taker. I don't like when others help me.

Truth: Get over it. With practice, you'll learn to be comfortable when others help you. And before long, you'll come to realize that you deserve a helping hand every now and then.

Things to Remember

  • Have realistic expectations for the kind of help you're seeking
  • Express your needs simply and clearly
  • Let others know that you appreciate their help
  • Pat yourself on the back for being brave enough to ask for help

 

 Dr. Deborah Serani is an award-winning author. Her books"Depression and Your Child: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers" and "Living with Depression" are published by Rowman & LIttlefield.

 

 

Deborah Serani, Psy.D., is a psychologist and psychoanalyst who lives with depression and specializes in its diagnosis and treatment.

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