Can you help me?


Throughout our entire lives we receive help, from our mothers helping us to brush our teeth as  toddlers to strangers helping us cross the street when we are elderly. No matter how natural receiving help can be, asking for help can be difficult.

Asking for help may be especially challenging when the difficulty you are facing is personal, you are unsure if others have had similar experiences or you are unsure if others can even help and you would really rather deal with it on your own.

Asking for help certainly was never easy for me. But a simple trick has made it much easier: I imagine how it feels when someone asks me for help. I picture what it feels like if someone thinks I might be able to help them because of my experience or knowledge. Or what it feels like if someone trusts me enough to talk to me about a personal issue.

And being completely honest that feels good! It doesn't feel good that the other person is having difficulties. But it feels great that they think I might be able to help! So now, whenever I am doubting about asking someone for help, I think about how it would make me feel if someone would ask me that question and that makes it so much easier to ask.

But what if your question does not have an easy answer? When you are struggling with your emotional wellbeing, this might be the case. Although it may not feel so right now, the fast majority of people will at some point in their life have a period in which they feel anxious or depressed, so you are certainly not the only one. Asking for help with all those negative emotions, even if others have experienced the same, is something many people struggle with.

Therefore, this month, in honour of Mental Health Awareness Month , we will focus on help-seeking for anxiety and depression and we will discuss different types of help, different ways you can find help and things you can do to help yourself.

We would also love for you to help us by sharing your experiences with help-seeking. Who do you ask for help when you are feeling down? How do you help yourself get through that anxious moment? Or do you have experience with help that was not so helpful? What is your idea to make the help you received better?


Marlou Poppelaars

I am a Postdoctoral researcher passionate about internalizing psychopathology prevention and the use of technology and innovation for this purpose while stimulating intrinsic motivation. I love to read, cook and bake everything delicious. Working on finishing my dissertation and Two Dots (Level 3682 and counting).


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