The Importance of Support Networks When Dealing with Anxiety & Depression
We all need help at times in our life. It can be hard to admit, as society sends the message that we should all be independent and self-reliant. However, we all go through periods in life when we must rely on others. It’s important to release any shame we feel for needing help. After all, there’s a reason there are so many people in this world. We need each other!
Struggling with anxiety or depression can be one of life’s most isolating experiences. We tend to feel that we’re the only ones with these alarming emotions, and anxiety/depression can twist our view of the world, making everything feel strange and surreal. We often need people to remind us that the world hasn’t changed. We’re simply going through a difficult time.
Support benefits us in a variety of ways. Firstly, it gives us a place to “vent”. Living with anxiety, panic attacks, or depression can be tiring and frustrating. At times, just talking to someone about our struggles can be a huge relief! Secondly, having empathetic support (someone who has been in our shoes) can help us realize that we’re not alone. Others have felt the same way! This realization is part of the healing process. A good support person/people can also offer helpful suggestions or direct us to professional resources when needed. Lastly, it’s great to have people around who are strong when we are “weak”. We all have bad days and having someone that supports us unconditionally is a great comfort.
Unfortunately, not all of us have supportive friends or family. Some of us live solitary lives, while others are surrounded by friends and family who just “don’t get it”. Regardless of our situation, it’s important to remember that there is an abundance of support available. Here are some suggestions for finding good support:
Find a Support Group:
There are many support groups available for those dealing with anxiety/depression. These groups are typically led by mental health professionals and the camaraderie developed during these group sessions can help us feel less alone. Many people also make meaningful connections in support groups.
Find a Mentor:
If there’s someone in your life who has successfully battled anxiety and depression, don’t be afraid to ask for their advice. They may be able to offer tips or resources to help you conquer your current condition.
Find a Professional:
Finding a good therapist or life coach can be life-changing. Not only are professionals well-equipped to provide support, but their suggestions may help you overcome the unpleasant symptoms of anxiety and depression. I offer one-on-one phone counseling to those struggling to find a strong support network.
If the aforementioned suggestions are not feasible, there are many online support groups available. However, make sure you find a group of people who are actively working to better their lives, not merely a group where people worry and speak negatively. For example, there are many online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy programs that include forums for quality support.
Most importantly, remember that it’s okay to ask for help and reconnect with old friends who may support you. We all need help sometimes. Having good support can bring peace and comfort during stressful times. Best of all, accepting support helps us heal faster, ensuring that we are able to help others in the future.
About the Author:
Steve Guarino is a certified integrative life coach, self-help author of Make Peace with Panic Naturally, and teacher of guided meditation. He is passionate about helping others find peace and happiness in spite of the life challenges they may be experiencing. Now that he is free from panic attacks, he enjoys spending time with family & friends, writing, traveling, and many other things that he struggled to do previously. Read more about Steve and his work here.