Most of us grow up with the understanding that if there’s something physically wrong with us then we can visit our GP for help, so why is it in 2018 that a stigma stills remains around talking about, or asking for help for non-physical problems? Although many non-physical problems may not be immediately life-threatening they can affect our lives so dramatically, so why is it they are treated so very differently?
Whether it’s depression, eating disorders, anxiety, PTSD, panic attacks etc, or you simply feel lost and confused about life, talking therapies can be the help many of us need.
After many years supporting someone with mental health issues, I think I can speak from my own experience that if it’s untreated it can have a detrimental effect, not only on that person’s life but also those connected. Looking back I can now see how this support impacted on me emotionally and how it affected the outlook I had for my own future.
I’ve spoken in the past about how my short experience of counselling whilst going through egg freezing helped confront some of my own issues about past relationships, but more recently I have found coaching the key to helping me move forward with my life.
Don’t get me wrong it’s not like counsellors or coaches have magic wands! Like any kind of therapy the possibilities for positive change are only evident if you have an open mind, are willing to really look inwardly at yourself, work hard at it and have the courage to make changes. All of these elements can be hard at the best of times, but almost impossible for most suffering from mental health conditions.
Seeking help for your mind can be a hard thing to admit to your friends and family, for the fear of being judged, but somehow I find some comfort in writing this as I know others feel the same and have similar conflicts but perhaps are on a different path in life to me.
I originally sought help from a coach in my 20’s, back then I hoped it would help me with my job, as I had difficulty managing my work/life balance. Anyone that’s managed a bar I’m sure will empathise with this! For the short time, I saw a coach it provided me with a useful outlet for guidance and a sounding board that just wasn’t available through my work or other channels.
More recently I decided to revisit the idea of coaching at a very difficult period where I felt very lost and confused about my place in life.
Whether you’ve never heard of coaching, or whether it’s something that you thought only existed in the US, I would urge you to give it some thought if you find yourself feeling a bit stuck in a rut, confused with where you’re supposed to be heading in life or generally need to unjumble all the things in your head which are preventing you to think clearly and make positive steps forward.
Coaches, just like counsellors don’t have the answers, they also don’t sit there and give you advice, but they do help you find the answers. In my case many of the answers were already in my head I just needed help accessing them.
I believe coaching, much like life is a work in progress, and I’ve just taken some small steps to hopefully improve mine:)