We as a society have a built-in need to do things on our own, we don't like asking for help in the best of times. Some see it as a sign of weakness, an inability to be independent. Others see it as a bother on their friends and family. For whatever reason, we always try to work through everything ourselves. Reaching out is already difficult and in a world where the younger generations are happier to text, IM or Snapchat their friends rather that physically be with them, it's getting even harder.
So what happens when the thing you are working on is your mental health?
When you suffer from a form of mental health, you begin to convince yourself that you don't need to talk about it, maybe if you ignore it, it will go away? Unfortunately, it's not that simple.
In cases like anxiety, the inability to talk about what's bothering you could lead to a sudden outburst. In others like depression it could lead to more dangerous releases of emotion instead of talking.
What we need to do as a society is make talking about mental health normal. We need to let people know that it is ok to share their feelings, their fears and their emotions. Although it might not be the same as others around them, that doesn't make what they are feeling wrong.
Most of the time, the struggle is asking for help the first time. Mental health can deteriorate at any moment in anyone's life. There is no formula to predict when it may happen. The most difficult part is gauging when you personally need help. Just because your friend went straight to the doctor doesn't necessarily mean you need to do the same. Everyone is unique. We all have different levels of pain, different ways of approaching situations.
My advice, do what you think is the right thing for you. If that means you need to talk it out with a friend, find someone you trust. You may be surprised at how great you could feel once the weight is lifted. Maybe talk to a figure of authority, a teacher that you trust or an anonymous phone line (https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/helplines/). Maybe you know you need to talk to a medical professional straight away. No one will ever truly know what is going to be best for you, except you.
I'm not saying it's going to be easy, for me I struggled for a long time to say anything. All I can say is, you are not alone and there will always be someone who can listen. The one thing to remember is, you have options all around you. It's ok to speak up, reach out and ask for help!