Struggling to understand if I need help | TW: SH, Suicidal Ideation (brief mention)

Hello folks,

I have a little request for advice today. For reference, I’ve been thinking about making this post for a while and haven’t until now because, in honesty, I’m not sure if anyone here can help much (because I already think I know what you’ll say to all my inquiries, but I just am not willing to accept it). With that said, I still sincerely appreciate your time in reading and thinking about this.

  1. I know a lot of people who have gone through or continue to go through so much more than what I’ve faced, without support, and they are mostly okay. I guess I just can’t come to terms with why I can’t push through my mental health struggles in the same way they can? It almost feels like I’m just complaining when I make posts like this; after all, everyone is always going through stuff that they don’t show to the world. Is being extremely unhappy just a regular part of life that I need to come to terms with? Am I being silly or immature to want to default back to poor coping mechanisms (e.g. self harm, masturbation, etc) when I’m hurting this much? (I know you’ll answer no to the question, so I guess the core of the question is about if I just need to individually get better at suppressing these urges, or if some kind of help can actually make a difference here)

  2. In December, I’m quitting a position that has negatively impacted my mental health. I’m just frequently (not constantly, but for at least a few hours per day) hurting when thinking about the wait. I know four months really isn’t long, but it feels like an eternity when each day is such a struggle to get through. I want to do something rash (run away from parents, blow up on a coworker who has hurt me in the past, attempt suicide, etc) but I also know that I won’t because those aren’t logical courses of action — they won’t fix any of my problems and probably won’t even feel that great in the moment. To some extent, it feels like I want to do these more extreme things to prove to myself that I need change — that I need support — that I need something. After all, if my negative mental state won’t turn into action, even if I know that it’s wrong, I can’t bring myself to believe that I deserve of any kind of help.

  3. I’m thinking of talking to my GP about mental health in my next regularly scheduled appointment (September), but I’m scared to discuss this. I still am struggling to believe that I need help (like I might feel better once I quit the position in December). I just can’t stand feeling this bad for another four months (or longer; quitting may not be enough to feel better) so I don’t feel like I can go without help either (though I realize that any referrals or similar may take months anyways). I’m going to be legal adult at the time of the appointment, but I’m still scared that the doctor could share mentions of SH or passive suicidal ideation with my parents (who don’t need more stress in their lives). I’d still be under my parents insurance anyways if I got any kind of treatment, so they’d know, but I still would want what I share to be shared on my terms. Any thoughts?

Thanks, as always, for reading such a verbose post. I sincerely appreciate your time and insight, and hope you are all doing well.

PS: Please pardon any spelling/grammar errors; I typed this post up on my phone.


Thank you for being a part of this community and for being open and sharing this with us. I know it’s not easy to talk about or admit when the struggles come up.
I do want to reiterate what you seem to “know” but maybe find hard to accept or understand, and that is you’re not just complaining and that mental health isn’t linear. It may change over time and some people may even find it’s just for a season. I have struggled my whole life from a very young age and I still feel like I’m being too dramatic or being stupid and need to deal with it myself.
You have done such an amazing job dealing with the work stress and pressure. You’re extremely mature for your age (I know I don’t know specifically, but I am aware you’re young and I know people who are older aren’t half as mature).
Because you’re so young and dealing with so much pressure it’s understandable that you’re feeling overwhelmed and nobody would ever expect you to push past it. I know what it’s like to be told by people to get over it and that I’m being stupid and dramatic, that’s not helpful. You’re none of those.

I think talking to your GP would be so beneficial for you. I know you’re scared they will talk to your parents, but are your parents supportive and loving? Do you think they’d want to know what’s hurting you and be able to look after you?
If you are feeling strongly about those thoughts of suicide or self harm, then please consider even talking to your parents and maybe they can get you an earlier appointment. You matter so much and you don’t deserve to stay silent. The thoughts that tell you that it’s not important or that you don’t deserve the help are not true. It’s the absolute awful crap we have to deal with, but somehow we have to make sure we remember it’s not truth.

You are so important and such a huge presence here. You are loved and noticed and deeply cared for.


Hi Bimini, thank you so much for your reply. While I doubted that reaching out here would help, I was wrong to doubt that – your message sincerely helps so much, and I really appreciate you taking the time to write that.

I know that they’ll be supportive about it, but just don’t want to give them more stress than they already have. For instance, I can’t reasonably expect someone who hasn’t gone through it to understand the difference in passive and active suicidal ideation. With that said, I can (and plan to) have a conversation with them to discuss those topics and explain in a bit more detail to mitigate miscommunications.

My other worry with contacting them is that one of my parents is always stressed and always feels overworked but doesn’t seek support. I’m not sure he’ll be as understanding of me seeking support for something that seems to stem from a work-related matter, and I don’t really want to tell my parents about the incident that occurred in March (it doesn’t have to do with lack of trust or anything – I just sincerely dislike talking about that incident).

With that said, I understand that the importance of looping them in outweighs any downsides, and I’m thinking of doing that after I see what my GP recommends (or if my GP contacts them directly, while not preferable, that’s okay too).

Yes, I understand and will do. At the moment, I’m 1-2 months clean from self-harm and have only engaged in it about 5-6 times total (always mildly – heals fully within 1-2 weeks), and the urges are less and less strong with time. Similarly for suicidality, I’m not seriously considering suicide as an option – it just wouldn’t be logical in my situation (more of those “Wouldn’t it be nice to kill myself so that I don’t need to deal with this anymore” thoughts rather than “I want to kill myself at this time in this way” ones). For that reason, I’m not too concerned with self-harm or suicidality, but I have plenty of options if these start worrying me more with time.

Thank you again, so much, for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it and the reply made me feel much better about talking to my GP about this (and much more accepted for feeling the way that I do). Thank you, once more, for the kind reply.


You’re so kind for worrying about them, I can assure you that the people who love us will always want to know that we are okay above anything else going on amongst it. I know the annoying cycle of not wanting to bother someone because of what they are dealing with, but then take a pause to think “if something happened to me, would they feel guilty for not knowing?”. I am so proud of you for being willing to open up the communication with them! That’s a huge step and you are right that when someone doesn’t really understand the feelings and thoughts behind it, it can be hard to talk to them about. We can hope that they listen with an open heart and want to ask the questions on how to be there to support us in that time. You deserve that so much.

If they do contact them, then I hope having that outside professional speaking to them will hopefully be helpful in their understanding of what you’re going through. Perhaps they don’t have to go into all the detail of why you’re in this place so much (share all the work related details). I hear you saying about the one parent in particular maybe not quite being able to understand so much as the stress is mounting for them. My family have the same mentality as that sadly.

Congratulations for being clean! That’s so wonderful to hear and I do hope during this time that you’re keeping safe still. It does sound like it.
And those “so I don’t have to deal with it” thoughts are also relatable for not just me, but others as well. It’s that point you get to that is so exhausting mentally and emotionally and at some point enough is enough. When we can’t look to find an end to that or have been trying to dig our way out by ourselves for a length of time, it feels like it’s an big option. We both know that it isn’t always necessarily the “logical” thing, but pressure is still pressure and having enough is having enough.
You definitely are not judged for having your feelings and thoughts at all.
And I am so very proud of you for making the acknowledgement that you’ve hit the point of enough.
You are an incredibly strong and selfless person, but you also deserve the support and love you give so generously to others.
Thank you for being here x


Thank you for your kind and well thought-out reply, Bimini; I sincerely appreciate it.

You make very good points here, and I know that talking to them is the right thing to do.

Thank you for sharing that I’m not alone in this experience. I hope that you and your family are well in this regard.

Thank you so much for all these notes. You put how I feel into words perfectly there, and I really appreciate being heard and understood. Thank you again for all your wonderful comments. You are an incredible listener and I really appreciate you taking the time to help me.

PS: On the good news end, today felt much better than the last couple days. I think a combination of your support and reminding myself that it’s okay to try to enjoy myself made me feel much better (along with the general fluidity of emotions), so thanks again for that! <3

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Hey there @eagertuna0,

Thank you so much for posting here. I know it can be very challenging to ask for help, especially when you are more used to give it instead. I wanted to say at first that none of what you share, none of what you are going through or struggle with will ever change the way we see you here. You are and will always be this incredibly loving, caring, generous human being. Being vulnerable today is a gift to those who are willing to do life with you, to walk alongside you, no matter what the obstacles in front of us are.

Reading your post and title, I feel like you already know some of the answers to your questions, indeed. It can be frustrating to be told things we already know, so please know I’m really not trying to “teach” anything – whatever is said in this response comes only from a place of care, which goes along with respecting your own agency. You’ve had a lot of thoughts already regarding all of this, without any doubt. Sometimes though we need this extra step of asking and receiving some external validation in order to initiate a process of acceptance. We need to hear that things are going to be okay. And it will, friend.

You’ve mentioned in your title that you are struggling to understand if you need help, but I believe you’ve actually written the real question in your point 2:

I can’t bring myself to believe that I deserve of any kind of help.

Here it’s less about needing than deserving, and this very idea of deserving help or not can be very difficult to wrap our mind around. What I hear in your first point is that your mind is throwing some excuses at you to not accept that you are deserving of help just like anyone else. The comparison game, the temptation of self-deprecating yourself for using unwanted coping mechanisms as well. If you’ve been self-reliant for the most part throughout your life, if you’re more used to give than to receive, then it makes absolutely sense to wonder if you should just “get better” at dealing with the urges, and overall with the times when life gets difficult. You want to rely on your own strength as you’ve been used to, which is a very noble goal to pursue. But maybe part of healing for you would actually be to learn to welcome some more help in your life too?

An indicator to find your answers could be to ask yourself how you feel when you ask for help. For example just like with this post: are you tempted to get over it quickly? To reassure people who respond to you that things are not too bad and you can handle it? Do you feel like, when you’re having a rough time and think “I need help”, you bounce back quickly afterwards thinking that it wasn’t that terrible and you can do it all by yourself? This in particular has been my own relation with therapy over the years. Hitting rock bottom, falling back into some unhealthy coping mechanism, but having enough of a break down to feel like being able to start writing on a blank page again the days after. And my conclusion when I feel a little better is that I don’t need help, actually, or at least not to that level. But man this has made me lose so much time.

You may need to have a look at these cycles from a long-term perspective and not based on immediate thoughts or emotions. Has it been part of your life for a long time? Do you feel like you tend to go through the same cycles (the: “tomorrow I’ll do better!” type of thinking)? But even more: do you feel like these habits are keeping you behind in life? That it is preventing you to fully be the person you aspire to be? To quote your post again:

so I guess the core of the question is about if I just need to individually get better at suppressing these urges, or if some kind of help can actually make a difference here

I believe the core of the question is: do you want to keep trying by yourself? Also: have you ever added some more help into your life? I imagine you already have in mind which type of help you’re referring to, assuming it’s professional help, the question is: what would you lose for trying something new? For actually implementing something in your life that you may have not accepted before.

Maybe you were not ready before, and that is absolutely okay. It sounds though that, right now, there is this strong intuition within that you’d like to listen to. It’s just scary, and honestly I get it. You explain it so very well in your point 3. Although it would be a profound injustice to prevent yourself to get some extra help because of fear. You deserve help, just like every other person that you encourage.

You don’t need to be at an extreme, low point, in order to seek help. You don’t need to hit complete rock bottom in order for your struggles to be valid. Heck I’ll see a new therapist tomorrow after hesitating for months, and even though I know/feel like I need help, I have no freaking idea what I’m going to say when she’ll ask “why are you here?”! But it’s okay. It’s actually better to prevent than cure, especially when it’s about our mental health. I’ve personally always lived out of fears and it has made me lose so many opportunities in my life, including in terms of healing. As a recovering self-reliant person, I can only encourage you to seek help whenever you start questioning this possibility just because it doesn’t hurt and there are so many barriers that we put before it that don’t need to be. The very fact that you do consider it is already saying something about your needs. Everything that follows is about feeling ready for it and challenging your fears with enough grace for yourself at the same time.

The perspective of December becoming a life-changing event that could be very positive in your life is also something to be careful with. Not saying it won’t be an important transition in your life of course, but it’s important to try not to put all of our hopes into one life change like this. Coping mechanisms and addictions especially are about habits that are not necessarily circumstantial, but the result of how we’ve learned to cope with specific emotions. The way this current situation with your position is affecting you is obviously massive. However, you will keep facing adverse times in the future, just because that’s how life is. We are meant to face unexpected events, unexpected stressors, and learning to cope with it is less about the nature of the events than the way we deal with it. And truth be told, sometimes we actually learn that over and over because the circumstances feel very new, very unique to us.

All of this to say… I’d encourage you to be careful with the thought that one massive change could heal everything. I personally fell into this trap over and over again (last one to this date: thought having a job again would be THE remedy, turns out it doesn’t of course). While being in a healthy environment is essential for your healing, there may still be underlying habits, associations of emotions=>actions that need to be unlearned, little by little, and replaced by other ways to cope. It requires most of the time some deeper work. Using a house analogy, if you are in a place with mold and humidity, you can change the decoration all around, paint the walls and move the furniture to feel a sense of rebirth, of renew. But if the foundations are not properly repaired and the walls isolated then the mold is just going to appear progressively again.

You deserve to be helped, 1000%, especially if the thought keeps crossing your mind and eventually being more present. Reading your topic, I feel like you’re in this process of accepting this possibility more and more. But the closer we get to this decision, the scariest it gets. Suddenly it becomes more real, more visible, and our mind rushes with this flow of doubts, fears, “what if?” and all kinds of disguised invalidation. You are deserving of help and if you consider talking to your GP, the worst that could happen is that they wouldn’t be receptive or understand your needs, but YOU would have proven to yourself that you are capable of asking for help in this more formal setup. It would give you even more strength and the knowledge that there is, indeed, no shame or hurt to ask for help to a professional who would be in front of you. It would be awkward! Uncomfortable for sure. But once you’re okay with trying to ride this wave of discomfort, you can be sure that some really positive outcomes could appear over time. You deserve to give yourself the chance to try, just because it could make some difference in your life, even if you don’t know yet how it could be. :hrtlegolove:


TW for reply: Addiction (sex)

Hello @Micro,

Thank you, as always, for your kind and helpful response.

Thank you so much for sharing this note. That feeling of bouncing back after a major low is one of the main reasons that I’ve been unwilling to seek professional help; it often feels like things will get better on their own (or with effort from me), or that I simply am not doing poorly enough because I do bounce back, but I totally see your point on how failing to seek help may make healing take more time (and energy), with less success. Thank you again for sharing that note; it really resonates.

Also, for a little sidenote, congrats on investing in your well-being and starting with a new therapist tomorrow! That’s awesome to hear and I’m glad that you didn’t allow your fears to stop you from getting the help you need.

Thank you for this point as well; you’re completely right that I’m setting myself up for hopelessness when I invest so much of my hope and mental well-being in this one change. You’re also so right about the importance of learning to cope in a healthy manner (which is a big reason that I’ve been thinking more about professional help). Particularly in terms of excessively using sex (masturbation) as a coping mechanism, I’ve been doing this for nearly 5 years now (ever since I hit puberty – I started before I even knew what masturbation was). I’m definitely in a healthier place in that regard than I used to be, but that’s still a reliance that I struggle with to this day and quitting the role in December won’t have any effect on that reliance.

You’re certainly right about this, but I’m hoping that both revisiting this post and some notes that I took will remind me of the value of reaching out for help. You, as always, have exceptional insights in your post and I sincerely appreciate you (and Bimini) for taking the time to help. Just seeing that you both care and are taking the time to reply truly means so much to be too. :hrtlegolove:


That feeling of bouncing back after a major low is one of the main reasons that I’ve been unwilling to seek professional help; it often feels like things will get better on their own (or with effort from me), or that I simply am not doing poorly enough because I do bounce back

You describe it so very well. It’s weird how the balance is often on the side of pushing things away, right? At the moment, it feels so very real and strong – we ARE convinced that we can just get back on our feet, by ourselves, with our own strength. There’s more clarity, more space to breathe. Unfortunately, during those times we also easily dismiss how many times we actually considered seeking help in the past. That alone should also be acknowledged and considered. The fact that the idea itself tends to come over and over speaks for itself and is deserving of our attention. There are without any doubt a LOT of strength within you. Sometimes we just need some extra push, some outside perspective to help reveal this strength to ourselves. Ultimately your healing will always be yours. A professional is only there to sit by your side and help unfold potential that is already present, but they are never going to do the work for you. You will always own that and you can be sure that you will always have the possibility to celebrate yourself on that matter. :hrtlegolove:

I’m definitely in a healthier place in that regard than I used to be, but that’s still a reliance that I struggle with to this day and quitting the role in December won’t have any effect on that reliance.

It’s so good to hear that you’re in a healthier place already. It’s true though that if it’s been a long-term coping mechanism (and not tied a specific circumstance or event in your life), then it’s more than likely to be present after December, and you could be even more disappointed afterwards. This unhealthy cycle of wondering “what’s wrong with me?”, you know? While really, there isn’t anything wrong with you.

I hope you know that acknowledging the reality and mechanisms of addictive patterns does not make you weak in any way. It’s been a survival mechanism, and again there is so much strength within you. After all, this is about needing safety in face of specific emotions, so it’s completely normal to be tempted to push that away as being “not a big deal”. And maybe it isn’t! But it doesn’t need to be something that would affect you in extreme ways in order to receive some more help. No matter what you feel, think or experience in your life, it is always valid and always worth to be heard.

I believe in you. If you need to vent or talk about all of this as time goes on and gets closer to September, please feel free to do so. The first time I scheduled a meeting with a psychiatrist, I’ve posted here a list of bullet points of all the fears and resistance I have while making this decision. It has been so incredibly reassuring and comforting to hear about others experiences with this step and how much I’m wasn’t alone dealing with those fears. This space right here is yours to use, anytime. :hrtlegolove:


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