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The 'Game Changing' Method My Therapist Suggested for Reaching Out for Help

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 There are times when we need help, but the getting of help is so daunting. When you are already depressed, doing things like cleaning, laundry or even basic self-care are major feats themselves. Picking up the phone to make a call or properly word out a text can feel like another one of those impossible tasks. And that struggle can really block a person from reaching out when they need it most.

During a session with my therapist, I explained this exact problem; she listened carefully and nodded knowingly. She got it, and then she had a great idea.

“Why not pre-arrange an emoji with a friend that you can send? Pick something that means you are not doing well and need support, no explanation needed.”

Of course! A light went on, and it was like I had been told the most brilliant thing. 

We talked about it some more and because I’m a nerd, I thought of Batman and the Bat-Signal. Later in the day, I texted a good friend and explained the concept, suggesting the bat emoji. He also liked the idea and agreed.

So, have we used the “Bat-Signal?” Yes! And FYI, it totally works and is something we’ll continue to use. On a few occasions, the bat has made its way over the airwaves and in our case, we’ve pretty much responded straight away, ready to chat, video call or whatever until the crisis or struggle feels a little bit better. This idea works!

If it sounds like something you’d like to try, the key factor is to preplan. Don’t wait until a day you are already stressed to explain the concept — that would be hard and defeat the point. Choose a day you are feeling pretty good and have the energy for approaching your friend or support person. Then, be sure to choose a memorable emoji. Agree on what it means to send it and what types of responses might be helpful. As not everyone is available 100% of the time, it might be a good idea to have more than one person, or accept the fact the responder won’t always be able to get back to you right away.

I hope this little tip can help you when you have a day everything is tiresome. Just one little click and support can be on your way.

If you enjoyed this article, please take a moment to check out some of my other articles here on The Mighty. If you’d like to follow along with my journey, you can find me on Instagram as @mentalhealthyxe.

Photo by Persnickety Prints on Unsplash

Originally published: September 19, 2019
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