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Mental health is an integral aspect of overall well-being, but it is often overlooked or stigmatized. Unfortunately, many people suffer silently, unaware that there is help available to alleviate their struggles. If you broke your arm, would you seek a medical professional? If you caught a cold, would you tell your family and friends?
If you caught yourself having ideas of suicide, or feelings of depression and anxiety, would you tell anyone at all?
If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health challenges, it is crucial to take the first step towards seeking assistance. Therdune aims to provide guidance on how to begin the journey towards mental health support and resources, promoting awareness and breaking down the barriers surrounding mental health care.
Recognizing the Need for Assistance

The first step towards seeking assistance for mental health is recognizing that you may need help. Mental health challenges can manifest in various ways, including anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, or other emotional difficulties. These challenges may impact your daily life, relationships, and overall happiness.
Signs that may indicate the need for mental health assistance include:
  • Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or despair.
  • Overwhelming anxiety or constant worrying.
  • Drastic changes in sleeping or eating patterns.
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed.
  • Suicidal thoughts or self-destructive behaviors.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is essential to take these signs seriously and consider seeking professional help.
Taking the Initiative: Self-Help Strategies

Before reaching out to mental health professionals, exploring self-help strategies can be a beneficial starting point. Self-help techniques can empower individuals to manage their mental health and provide a sense of control over their emotions. Some effective self-help strategies include:
  • Educating Yourself: Learn about common mental health conditions, symptoms, and available treatments. Understanding your emotions can help you identify potential challenges and seek appropriate assistance.
  • Mindfulness and Meditation: Practicing mindfulness and meditation can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Focusing on the present moment can help alleviate negative thoughts and improve emotional well-being.
  • Physical Activity: Engaging in regular physical exercise releases endorphins, promoting a positive mood and reducing stress. Don’t feel like you have to hit the gym, simply just going for walk can be beneficial.
  • Journaling: Writing down your thoughts and feelings can provide insight into your emotions and act as an emotional outlet. Journaling can also help you track your mental health progress over time.
  • Supportive Relationships: Reach out to friends, family, or support groups. Sharing your experiences with others can provide comfort and a sense of belonging.
  • Limiting Stressors: Identify stressors in your life and implement strategies to minimize their impact. Set boundaries and prioritize self-care.
Seeking Professional Assistance

While self-help strategies can be beneficial, they may not be enough to address more severe mental health challenges. Seeking assistance from mental health professionals is essential for comprehensive and personalized support. Just think about it the same way you would if you broke a bone. There are various types of mental health professionals, and finding the right fit may require some research and exploration.
  • Psychologists: Psychologists are trained professionals who provide counseling and therapy for a range of mental health issues. They employ evidence-based techniques to help individuals cope with emotional challenges and develop healthier coping strategies.
  • Psychiatrists: Psychiatrists are medical doctors specialized in mental health. They can diagnose and treat mental health conditions, prescribe medication, and offer therapy or counseling.
  • Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC): LPCs are trained to provide individual, group, or family therapy to help clients address emotional challenges and develop coping skills.
  • Social Workers: Clinical social workers offer counseling and support services to individuals and families dealing with mental health issues. They may also connect clients with community resources and support networks.
  • Peer Support Specialists: These individuals have experienced mental health challenges themselves and provide support and understanding based on their personal experiences.
The process of finding the right mental health professional may involve seeking referrals from friends or family, researching local providers, or contacting mental health organizations. Many professionals offer initial consultations, allowing you to assess their approach and determine if they are the right fit for your needs.
Utilizing Telehealth Services

In recent years, telehealth services have become increasingly popular for mental health support. Telehealth offers the convenience of receiving mental health assistance remotely, either through phone or video calls. This approach eliminates geographical barriers and allows individuals to access care from the comfort of their homes.
Taking the courageous step of seeking mental health assistance offers numerous benefits, including:
  • Emotional Support: Mental health professionals can provide a safe space to express your thoughts and emotions without judgment.
  • Coping Strategies: Mental health assistance equips you with effective coping strategies to manage emotional challenges and stressors.
  • Identification and Diagnosis: Professionals can accurately diagnose mental health conditions and tailor treatment plans accordingly.
  • Medication Management: Psychiatrists can prescribe medication if necessary and closely monitor its effectiveness.
  • Validation and Empowerment: Seeking help validates your experiences and empowers you to take charge of your mental health journey.
A Personal Word from Therdune
Hello, this next bit will be less formal and more off the cuff. But I figure if you’ve read this far, this next part will probably be the most impactful for you. We don’t know each other, but I’m certain we’re not all that different. Let me be honest with you about my own experiences. My journey with coming to grips with my own mental health.
I have been depressed for most of my life, to various degrees. Always an ebb and flow, a gradient of sorrow. And for years, I never imagined that I could have depression, or anything like that. But the feelings never left me. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20s that I even considered the possibility. But that was a terrifying realization.
What if I’m broken?
What if I’m one of those people, that needs pills to survive and handle day to day life? No way, I couldn’t let myself be one of those people. That was the stigma talking. Or maybe, it was the depression talking, in some weird sense of ego, self-preservation. Whatever it was, it was scary and I wanted no part in it. I would have rather drowned in the sadness then admit that I wasn’t “normal”.
And I did.
Mental disorders do a funny thing though, they sometimes get worse. Things will build, up and up, upon the foundation laid before. And eventually I couldn’t take it anymore. The only option I had was to admit it to myself. Maybe I did need help. Maybe I was always destined to be one of ‘those people’.
I broke down and texted my family my most embarrassing admission. I was depressed. And that was terrifying. Easily one of the scarier things I’ve ever done. To admit such a thing, to anyone, felt insane. But they were supportive, and proud of me. They admitted that they’ve always known, but didn’t know how to approach the situation. I had tried so hard to hide it. The next step was going to see a psychologist, and I dreaded the day that my diagnosis would come in. It felt as if I was about to win the most dreadful depression lottery.
“Here’s all the things that are wrong with you” is what I expected.
The diagnosis came, and was read to me. "Major Depressive Disorder”. And in that moment everything seemed to change.
This thing had a name.
This awful, guilt-inducing, sickening darkness I tried to keep hidden. This burden I swore I had to carry alone. This filter through which I’ve seen the world my entire life. This absolute fucker had a name. And not just that, this thing that had been ruining my life had college courses discussing it. Research papers talking about it, and how to treat it.
I expected that my life would be ruined by this diagnosis. That I was ‘broken’ and was always going to feel that way. But the moment those words hit me, I couldn’t help but smile. I realized in that moment I wasn’t broken at all.
You don’t catch a cold because you’re a bad person. You don’t fall off your skateboard and shatter your tibia because you’re a monster. And I wasn’t depressed because of some weird cosmic debt to the universe that cursed me to that life. My brain just gets a little silly and that’s okay. In just a moment, all these years of feeling like shit. That people hurt me intentionally. That I deserved to feel that way. That all went out the window.
The bravest thing I’ve ever done in my life is ask for help.  
I wouldn’t be doing Therdune if I didn’t believe in you. And trust me, I know it’s scary. But you’re not ‘broken’. Before my diagnosis, I wore my depression like a dictionary description. It was WHO I was. And I’ll admit, there was a part of me that was scared to find what it means to lose that. “Who am I, what is my identity, if not depressed?”. Sometimes I wonder if other people feel that way too. I think there’s almost a sort of comfort in our disorders. They help to define us, diagnosed or not. A part of that, I think, really just comes to the fact that disorders are these massive, all-encompassing things. They dictate so much of our lives.
I hope that one day, you’ll let a medical professional name your monster. And I hope it’s a liberating experience for you, like it was for me. I hope that all those same worries and fears, the stigma, and shame just washes away in an instant.
All these monsters have names.
Ultimately, I’m just a sad dude, doing my best to do right by the world. And it may not mean much, but I’m really happy to know that you’re here. I genuinely hope that you stay on this Earth and find your happiness. You got this.

Free Mental Health Assessment

Mental Health America recognizes the significance of accessible and prompt mental health support for individuals experiencing potential symptoms of mental health conditions. To aid in this effort, MHA offers free mental health screenings. Through awareness, support, and appropriate interventions, we can work together to build a more compassionate and mentally healthy world for everyone.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

    Call 988
    The 988 Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States.

  • Crisis Text Line

    Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, anytime. Crisis Text Line is here for any crisis. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds, all from our secure online platform. The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment.

  • Trevor Project Lifeline

    Call 1-866-488-7368
    Text ‘START’ to 678-678
    Or chat online

    Trained counselors that understand the challenges LGBTQ people face.