Opening Up About Your Mental Struggles to Family & Friends

Opening up about your struggles to someone close, like family or friends, can be challenging. We may fear being judged by them since we may not even understand it ourselves. Yet, the moment we can accept ourselves and what is going on in our lives and take that step at telling someone else with confidence, and then work on better ourselves with a positive attitude, we can overcome anything we set our minds to.

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    Hi everyone! This video is going to be about opening up to family and friends about your mental struggles. This is something I hear quite often from people. A lot of people are hesitant about how their parents and friends may react, and they fear being judged for what they are experiencing. Even opening up to a therapist can be challenging since we naturally hold ourselves back if it makes us uncomfortable or we don’t understand it ourselves. We may try to present a certain image of ourselves to others to hide how much we are suffering with something. Yet, this all builds up and by not talking about it and opening up, things can get much worse and harder to cope with.

    Whether you are severely depressed, or have anxiety problems, or are hallucinating, even unable to control yourself or your emotions, opening up and hearing another’s perspective can be highly beneficial. Perhaps you’ve recognized what is wrong and you really want help for what is going on in your life, but are fearful about telling anyone else your struggles. Opening up to someone about what is going on in your life should never make you feel this way. You should be able to openly discuss what is going on so you can better yourself and be the person you truly want to be. But, this can only happen when you can take initiative and tell someone. We often hold ourselves back when we fear something. So, realize that telling someone else may be difficult, but if you truly want to help yourself, you will do whatever it takes, despite the difficulty.

    In order to truly open up to someone about what you are going though, you must first reason with and accept it yourself. You have to identify what is going on and realize why it is going on. Truly accept yourself for who you are and what you are going through. If you accept yourself first and love yourself no matter what, then telling another person will be a lot easier. You may be asking why. This is because when you accept it yourself, you approach the conversation with another person with more confidence. In other words, you do not go into telling someone else about your struggles with negativity and disgust, or even hatred of yourself. Rather, you accepted yourself and know this is the best thing for you to do, to tell those that you are close to. Only then can things be easier since you have a love for yourself.

    Next, another thing to consider is that you should have the answers beforehand. Think of any and all questions the other person may have for you and write them down and have an answer. This will allow you to better understand it yourself which will help even more. The more prepared you are, the more you can educate the other person about what you are going though. Remember, most people fear things they don’t understand. So, if you can do your best to explain things to them and bring clarity to what you are going through, and perhaps give examples they can relate to, then that will help them not fear it or view it as a threat.

    Next, you have to prepare for disapproval and have something planned if it comes to the worst scenario. If someone denies you or rejects you, which certainly can happen, then you have to realize that they are not your friend. It will be difficult if a friend stops talking with you because of what you share with them. But, you must also remember that a true friend will stay by your side. Ask yourself if you would want to be with a friend that you feel as though you have to hide yourself around, that you feel as though you have to please them by giving them a false representation of you that they want to see, versus how you really are. These are not the ways to form genuine, meaningful connections since you should always be you and express yourself no matter what. If you try to hide who you are and manipulate your appearance or behavior to fit in or give the impression you are a certain way your friends think you are, then they are not genuine friends since they don’t know the real you. In order to make meaningful connections, they must know the real you, and the only way is to show them the real you.

    Now, what about if a parent denies you, and perhaps prevents you from living with them because of what you tell them. This can happen. It may not happen to the majority, but it certainly can happen. Usually a parent may feel this way for several reasons. Perhaps they are very closed minded. They are not open to different ideas or views and when your view contradicts their own, they will deny it since they do not accept it themselves, and no amount of reason will help them otherwise. Another reason is that perhaps they feel as though they failed as a parent. Perhaps they tried to raise you a certain way and want you to be like them or how they envision you. Yet, you are not them. nor are you what they expect you to be. You are you, and you can only be you. So, when they discover that you are different or are struggling with something that they didn’t want you to, they may feel a sense of disgust, not only with you, but mostly with themselves since they feel like they failed as a parent raising you.

    Alternatively, what about people who don’t believe you? They don’t believe your struggles and perhaps think you behave the way you do because you want attention. While attention can be some people’s core issue, it’s not everyone’s. Usually someone may not believe you because they don’t understand. However, realize that you never have to prove yourself. Many people can get get rather upset that someone else doesn’t understand their struggles, so they may go to great lengths to prove something to them. If this is the case, ask yourself why you want to prove it? Usually it’s because you may want the other person to understand. But, they may never understand. Instead of trying to prove something, which often shows inferiority, educate them. If they are too focused on their own opinion and views to open their mind to the different ideas you are giving them, then there is nothing else you can do. You cannot continue to prove things to them that they do not want to hear. Nor can you force them to accept your views. By doing so, you would be manipulating them. So, realize that they are not you, so there is no need to prove anything since you know what you know, and they want to believe what they want to believe.

    And lastly, after you’ve told someone else about your struggles or what is going on, things can get much easier and you can proceed to accomplish what you desire. Even if someone denies you, not everyone will. There will be plenty of people that will be there for you and accept you, you just have to find them. The feeling of telling someone else is like a heavy weight being lifted from you. All that anxiety that has built up is released and you can then work on what you plan on working on to resolve the issues at hand. Like, if you told your mother about your severe depression, perhaps then you could more easily discuss it with other people, perhaps an online community, perhaps even a therapist. This will allow you to work on being free from the depression and having a better ways of coping with it, in addition to you not viewing it so negatively and with disgust. You can only overcome the issue when you have addressed it and worked on overcoming it with a positive attitude and positive future goals for success. Then you will make progress at becoming the person you have always wanted to be.

    So in conclusion, opening up about your struggles to someone else, like family or friends, can be challenging. We may fear being judged by them since we may not even understand it ourselves. Yet, the moment we can accept ourselves and what is going on in our lives and take that step at telling someone else with confidence, and then work on bettering ourselves with a positive attitude, we can overcome anything we set our minds to. The only thing that holds us back is ourselves. I hope this video was informative and helpful. Thanks for watching!

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    Notes

    Opening up about your struggles can be very difficult. I got so many messages asking about how to do it, and the common theme with most of them was that the person was having a hard time accepting it themselves. In other words, they thought they were ‘crazy’ or ‘weird’ and that the person they are trying to tell would feel the same and reject them. Even when I told my therapist and my grandmother about what I was struggling with emotionally and mentally, I too thought I was ‘crazy’ and ‘weird,’ and would even ask them, “Isn’t that weird? I’m crazy aren’t I? I am not a sane person.” I was beating myself up. Though, the one thing that was easier was coming out as transgender. This was because I had already began to accept that side of myself, and had done research and had a plan of how I wanted to transition. I didn’t necessarily think I was ‘weird’ or ‘crazy’ because I knew I wasn’t alone due to all the information I found online and people on YouTube that allowed me to realize this. It was that change in my perspective that made it so I didn’t view what I was struggling with as some weird condition that only affected me.