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Telling people you're struggling

Is it weird I haven't told anybody I'm going to counselling? Here's what's happened:

About this time last year I went through a rough time, I was stressed (mostly about uni - it was my first semester - and money) and it all got too much and it led to depression and some heavy suicidal thoughts. I was kinda knocked down for a few months. It was a really rough time but I didn't tell anyone it was happening and I eventually picked myself up. Then six months later, (the next semester) I found myself getting stressed and depressed again and I recognised the pattern so I sought out therapy but I was told it would take a couple months and I knew by then I would be on holidays and probably be ok. Again, I didn't let anyone know how I was feeling, just maybe said, 'worried about exams, tired, etc'. This year, the moment those depressed thoughts and behaviours happened, I called to make a counselling appointment. It took a couple months but I got the appointment. 

The past few weeks have been hard, I've been so down and unproductive and lost interest in everything and procrastinating and living in a messy room and having a lot of suicidal thoughts. (I'm safe, I don't have a plan or intentions, it's just that voice in the back of my head.) But I'm currently in counselling.

But I've never told anyone this has/is happening. Literally, no one knows. Should I tell someone I'm struggling? Or that I'm getting help? I don't feel a desperate need to tell anyone but if I found out my best friend was going through something they felt they needed professional help for, I would want to know? 

And any tips on how to approach the conversation? I don't want to make a big deal and I've been telling everyone life is great for 12 months so it'd be a bit of shock.

Re: Telling people you're struggling

Hey @smileandwave! First of all, thanks for telling us that you're safe at the moment Smiley Happy. To answer your question, it is weird that you haven't told anybody that you're attending counselling? No. Despite being struggling with mental health issues for the past 7 years, I still haven't really told most of my friends and family that I have anxiety, depression and I've been on and off meds and therapy for the past 7 years. The reason why I haven't told them is because I don't really like talking about it. The only way I can be open about it is through online platforms like these forums where I can be anonymous, or if the other person has a lived experience of mental illness as well. Even explaining to my GP about this, despite him knowing this for a long time, is a struggle! I feel like whether you should be vocal about you undergoing counselling is completely up to you. But it's perfectly okay if you don't decide to tell them now, or even at all! I think the most important thing is that you're receiving treatment, and I think your friends and family will love and respect you for that even though you didn't tell them about it. Does that sense? Apologies for the rambling long post haha
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Hope is just around the corner; you think it's not there when you first look straight ahead, but it actually is when you turn around

Re: Telling people you're struggling

Thanks so much! This really helped!

Re: Telling people you're struggling

Hi @smileandwave! I'm sorry to hear that you've been going through a tough time but well done for going to counselling! It can be really hard to work up the courage to take that first step.

I don't think that it's strange to not tell anyone that you're in counselling. There were times when I didn't tell anyone that I was going through counselling either. I think it's up to you whether you want to tell people or not. It could depend on how supportive your friends and loved ones are and whether you have a good relationship with them. Sometimes it can be easier telling strangers rather than people you know well. It can sometimes help to make a list of the pros and cons of telling people. Groups for people going through similar experiences can also be really helpful.