Most people I know with a mental illness try very hard to get better. They look for sources of help, support and information. Most people I know don’t sit around waiting for someone to save them.
But then there are the people who do.
There are the people who whine and complain that no one will help them and yet turn down help or refuse to look for it. There are the people who kvetch that there is no support available to them in spite of the fact that the world is drowning in helplines available 24-hours-a-day.
In short, people think mental health services should be brought to them on a silver platter – and then be spoon-fed.
Mental Illness Services
I understand that accessing mental illness services can be difficult. There is no doubt that money and location often stand in the way of quality care.
But that doesn’t mean that no services are available. There are services available to everyone in North America. There are help lines and support groups and community organizations and providers that work on sliding scale payment. Everyone has access to at least some of these things. (Oh, and there’s the internet.)
These mental health services are wildly imperfect. I know. But then, so is everything else in life. But reaching out to a professional for help cannot be avoided if you want to be well.
I’m Too Sick to Access Services
Now I do understand that some people are truly too sick to investigate options. I’ve been there as have many people. But I honestly believe that eventually, at a minimum, making one phone call isn’t too much to ask of anyone who wants to get better. If you know nothing else, you know that 911 will always answer your call and will be able to refer you to someone who can help. And if you’re really too sick to get out of the house to see a doctor, 911 would seem to be a reasonable place to be calling anyway.
You Have to Want to Get Better
But you have to want to get better. You have to be willing to do the work. You have to be willing to take the steps. Because I cannot spoon-feed you back your life. I cannot wrap a treatment in pretty paper and leave it on your doorstep to be opened at your leisure. I cannot reach through your computer and fix the chemicals in your brain.
The cold, hard truth of it is this: No matter how sick you are, if you don’t actively work at getting better, you never will.
Believe me when I say people with cancer are far too sick to function too and yet they must continue with chemotherapy and radiation and surgery and oncology appointments if they want to make it through their illness. Our illness is just as tough – and we must work equally hard to beat it.
HealthyPlace provides a whopping list of helplines and resources.
In the US, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides a help locator for you.
There is also a locator for Canadian Mental Health Association branch locations and crisis centers for Canada.