Therapy is not your only option: Other ways to help yourself

How do you help yourself?

The first step is accepting that you need help. Learning more about mental health can help you acknowledge that you are indeed struggling and that there is a path to recovery. This path can include:

 

Self management

  • Take care of your body, which includes eating well, sleeping enough and moving more; this is the most powerful tool for mental health issues, especially when complemented with mindfulness and meditation

  • Learn ways to cope with your mental health by using books, websites and other resources

  • Keep in mind that self-management is difficult when you’re struggling since it requires greater motivation and action. You can start with it, but set a fixed date to reassess and seek more help if needed

 

External support

  • Talk to close family and friends; though it’s the hardest to talk to people when you’re struggling, you will feel supported and less isolated when a loved one knows, even if they don’t fully understand
  • Reach out to other people you can trust, like your school counselor, religious head, or a family friend
  • Attend meetings of local religious/spiritual groups or other supportive groups for a consistent support system
  • Use mental health forums and blogs to connect with a community of people dealing with mental health
  • Find a psychotherapist, to work through your mental health issues in-depth with a trained professional

 

Medical/institutional help

  • See a psychiatrist, a doctor specializing in mental health, who can diagnose disorders and prescribe medication. Medication can help reduce the severity of symptoms and may become essential in very severe or chronic cases.
  • Residential rehab or outpatient programs can provide intensive and structured support, but few quality institutions exist in India 

If you have suicidal thoughts, immediately call a friend or helpline, or go to the nearest hospital.