How to Ask for Help: Emotional Strength Redefined

Asking for help paralyzes a lot of people. We’re brought up to accept challenges with gusto, get through things on our own to prove our strength, and emerge on the other side a better human for it. Those are lofty and noble goals but they’re not always realistic. When it comes to mental health issues, many of us view getting help as a sign of weakness.

But asking for help isn’t a sign of emotional weakness. Asking for help is an essential part of emotional strength, a part of being human. So let’s redefine emotional strength right here and right now.

Because we are, by nature, social beings overall, there are many people growing up in individualistic cultures (such as the United States) who are often raised to believe that relying on others for help is a burden to them. Rather than feel empowered, they feel depleted of strength, feeling in many cases guilty and ashamed for not “fixing” it themselves.

However, we can’t fully succeed on our own – in anything, not just mental health – from business to education to parenting. Everyone needs both independence and dependence to be a healthy human being, points out Psychology Today. Our need to pursue and achieve individual goals must be balanced or countered with the help of others.

Resourcefulness Leads to Empowerment

In order to consider yourself as emotionally strong, you need two things: capability and resourcefulness. Let’s focus on that second one, that quality of being resourceful. This means you embrace the dependent side of your nature, which takes equal amounts of vulnerability and courage, while at the same time feeling comfortable enough in your own skin to recognize when you need help.

When you can do that, you are more likely to openly and genuinely acknowledge both your needs and your limitations. This acknowledgment pushes you to take the next step: actually asking for help.

This is difficult to do, in large part due to the stigma attached to mental health. Despite the overwhelming numbers of people who suffer from depression and anxiety disorders, this stigma oftentimes prevents young and old from reaching out and getting the help they require, even within their own families. About 60 percent of adults suffering from a mental illness never receive any type of mental health service, according to MentalHelp.

Relying on others is part of the human experience at large. Being resourceful is necessary to develop confidence, true emotional strength and a sense of well-being. This means you have to accept both parts of your nature, independent and dependent. And when you are open to leaning on those who offer help and support, you become calmer and more centered, with that inner peace being another pillar of emotional strength.

Contact Comprehensive MedPsych Systems

We know it can be scary to reach out for help. But we are here for you in complete confidentiality. Our goal is to make you feel better, so call us today for an appointment.

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