Anxiety and depression will affect most of us at different times in our lives. Sometimes we can see reasons; we are reacting to a life event like bereavement, redundancy or relationship-break up. Sometimes it does not make sense; there are no obvious reasons. Feelings of guilt and shame can compound the problem if we constantly beat ourselves up for feeling low, ‘I have no reason to feel like this so why do I?’. Constantly trying to hide feelings of anxiety or chasing depression away is exhausting.
There is a myth that talking to a counsellor is a sign of weakness, that strong people just ‘get on with it’. Seeking support to explore life struggles is an act of profound courage and one that I have the privilege to witness every day in my practice. To admit to our vulnerabilities is not a weakness. This ultimately is what lies at the core of our humanity and links us to each other and the rest of the human family.
Talking, however difficult, does help. When we feel truly heard, we feel understood and over time it can generate feelings of self-acceptance and clarity. If you are worried about someone you know, check out the tips on www.yourmentalhealth.ie on how to be a good listener. There is free training in the Community Support section on how to talk about suicidal thoughts/suicide TALK. There are many low-cost counselling options available in the community. Anxiety and depression are manageable. Never imagine that you have to walk alone.