9: I feel so alone. How can I help someone better understand my needs?
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    “9: I feel so alone. How can I help someone better understand my needs?” Mental Health: Help for Me (2019)

    “I Feel So Alone,” Mental Health: Help for Me

    man sitting with others

    I feel so alone. How can I help someone better understand my needs?

    There is great value in developing and maintaining relationships. Pray for courage to talk to someone you trust, such as a family member, friend, Church leader, or mental health professional. Remember that some people will be more open and understanding than others because of their knowledge, sensitivity, and life experiences. Ask for a time to speak together—you are more likely to have a helpful discussion if the person you are speaking with is prepared and ready to focus on what you are saying. You can say (or text) something as simple as, “Hey, I’m having a hard time and really need someone to listen.”

    Read through the questions below and think about how you would respond. These ideas can help you start a conversation.

    • What are you experiencing physically? Talk about your symptoms, such as chronic fatigue, frequent headaches, mind racing, nausea, restlessness, slower movements or reactions, substance abuse, unexplained muscle pain, or changes in appetite, weight, or sleep patterns.

    • What are you feeling emotionally? Be descriptive—there is a lot going on when you are feeling overwhelmed and struggling with mental illness. Be sure to express feelings such as hopelessness, self-loathing, irritability, isolation, anxiety, sadness, fear, or guilt. Talk about how often you experience these emotions.

    • What do you struggle with socially? Consider how you interact with your family members, friends, coworkers, and others. Talk about any behavioral changes you’ve noticed, such as frequent or unexplained sadness, withdrawal from others, lack of personal hygiene, disinterest in activities you used to enjoy, or less energy and motivation.

    • What makes thinking difficult? Daily life can be especially challenging when your cognitive function is altered or impaired. Discuss any symptoms you may have, such as thoughts of self-harm, indecisiveness, confusion, difficulty remembering things, or thoughts of death and suicide. Talk about how often you have these thoughts and what you wish was different.