We recently turned the calendar on an unprecedented year of stress. Many in our community have experienced stress related to loneliness, finances, social unrest or even their own health, health of loved ones, or death of loved ones. You or someone you love may be struggling with substance issues that feel insurmountable. Loneliness is all around us, and sometimes it’s hard to know when is the time to reach out for help.
The answer might be now. Feeling stuck and unable to see the future, losing optimism or enjoyment of hobbies or relationships… difficulty with motivation and feelings of hopelessness are all reasons to seek support. Sometimes the things we know we need to do to help support mental health – exercise, eating healthy, connecting with others, avoiding substances – can feel overwhelming.
I want to reassure you that a good place to start your healing is with your primary care provider. Your medical community is willing and ready to help support you through these difficult times. We can help support you by listening and by helping you find someone to talk to. We can give you advice in how to approach your stressors, or encourage you in self-care. We can help connect you to treatment for addiction, and we can discuss medications that might help you short term or long term.
Perhaps you are reading this, thinking of someone in your life who is struggling with mental health or addiction. There is a heavy burden seeing someone you love struggle, especially when you aren’t sure what you should do, how you can help them, or what resources you can help them find. Please reach out if you are similarly in this situation.
It can feel lonely in these unprecedented times, and it may feel like no one is there or will understand. You may have never needed to talk to someone before about your mental health but know now that something has to change. That’s okay – your medical community can help you with this conversation.
As a community, we can help support each other through this uniquely challenging year. If we do this, we will become a stronger and more resilient community, ready to tackle the New Year.