J Y M

@noahxnorah | contributor
Mess doesn’t always have to mean that it is ugly, sometimes there is beauty in it.
J Y M
J Y M @noahxnorah
contributor

Mental Health Lessons for a Global Pandemic

I haven’t written in awhile. To be exact, it’s been almost three years since I last wrote a proper post. The reason being is that the last three years have been hard. I’ve been working really hard to get my mental health to a stable place — I just haven’t had the right headspace or energy to write. I finally got into a manageable place at the start of this year and then COVID hit and the pandemic happened. My anxiety skyrocketed and my thoughts went to a very dark place as I was away from family and friends due to restrictions. Three weeks into our first lockdown, I made a really quick decision to fly back home to Melbourne for the lockdown as I just wasn’t coping anymore. Some people may not have agreed with it, and even though I have now found myself in the middle of a more intense lockdown than the first, coming back to Melbourne to be with family has been the best decision I made this year for my mental health. And so I’m writing this post to share how the stuff that I learned over the years in my journey with dealing with anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts has helped me cope with this pandemic and Melbourne stage 4 lockdown.I hope it helps you, especially if this is your first time experiencing a decline in your mental health. 1. It’s OK to not be OK. It’s OK that you’re not feeling your best self at the moment. It’s OK that you’re feeling sad, down, unmotivated, anxious, etc. In fact, they’re actually quite normal feelings to feel in uncertain times. Just remember you’re not alone, and to always reach out for help and let people know you’re struggling. Even reach out for professional help if you need. Don’t do this alone. 2. When your mind in a really dark place, instead of mulling over it, do something that will distract yourself. That could be anything from calling/texting a friend and telling them how you feel, to blasting your favorite song, to rewatching a feel good show. Whatever it is, do something that makes you feel better and helps break your thought train. However if this doesn’t work, and your dark thoughts are still raging in your mind and getting louder, and you don’t feel safe, please call the emergency number and/or a mental hotline. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when dealing with really dark thoughts, especially if you intend to follow through on harming yourself 3. Do things that bring you happiness or joy. No matter how small that is, add them to your day. It could be cooking your favorite dish, reading a few pages of your favorite book, watching an episode of your favorite show or playing games. Whatever it is, add it to your day. 4. Don’t let others tell you what you need to be doing or how to use your “free time” in this lockdown. It’s OK if you have to take it slow right now. You don’t have to be productive in this time. You don’t have to start a business, hit your fitness goals, write a book, learn a new skill or any other thing that people are doing. If all you can muster up is the energy to do the basic necessity in your life, that’s enough and OK. Don’t compare yourself because we all have different ways to cope and energy and mental capacity, so it’s OK if at the moment yours is not enough to do something huge. What you’re doing to get through each day and to survive is enough. 5. Get fresh air and do something physical each day. It can be as simple as a 10 min yoga stretch, a quick walk around your block or a proper workout. Whatever it is, try to move your body each day. 6. Reach out and stay connected with your people. Text them, send them a meme, call or video them. Whatever it is, try to lean in to community. Don’t do this season alone. We may be physically apart, but we have technology that can help us stay connected so use it. 7. Break down tasks into small parts. Don’t feel guilty if you no longer can tackle it in one go. It’s OK to break it down and spread it across different days and time slots. And for those who are Jesus believers, here are some extra reminders. 8. It’s OK if you’re dealing with mental illness. It’s OK if you need to get professional help or take medication. None of this makes you a bad Christian and it doesn’t mean you don’t have enough faith and didn’t believe enough. 9. It’s OK if at the moment all you can muster is reading a verse a day. Don’t feel bad about it. Remind yourself it’s better done than not doing it at all. God cares about our heart and intention more than how we “perform.” I hope this helps at least one of you. It’s a hard time for many, but please don’t give up, there is light at the end and brighter days are ahead. I can’t say it’ll be easier but you’ll learn how to manage it better as time goes on. And like the saying goes, “this too shall pass.” So please keep holding on and be here to see the other side. I’m proud of you and I thank you for riding this out. Much love xx

J Y M
J Y M @noahxnorah
contributor

If You're Struggling With Depression Right Now, Read This.

Growing up and even now as a young adult, I always wanted to be known for being courageous and brave. Though people have told me I’m brave, I didn’t believe it because I didn’t seem to fulfill any of those expectations that could deem someone as courageous and brave. I wasn’t fighting for something that was impossible, wasn’t doing anything remarkable, wasn’t risking my life for the justice of the world. None of it. My life in a sense is very ordinary. I go to college, I attend church, I work part time and the rest of my time is spent hanging out with my friends. Nothing that’s changing the world or making a major global impact. But over this week, I realized I’ve been dealing with depression for years. The fact that I’m still here shows I am brave. I am courageous. I am courageous and brave for continuing in this fight and not letting it win.I am courageous and brave for living another day with this monster.I am courageous and brave for staying.I am courageous and brave for seeking help.I am courageous and brave for doing all I can to get better.I am courageous and brave for choosing not to give up even when that’s all I wanted to do. And so are you. To be here taking this next breath, to seeing another day, to being alive, when all you want to give up, is what makes you brave and courageous. To be dealing with a mental illness that consumes so much of you and sucks the life out of you, yet you’re still here fighting and not letting it win — that takes incredible strength and resilience. The fact that you’re reading this, shows you’ve gotten up every time after being knocked down, and though you may not have control over this monster, you are continuing to choose to fight against it every day. So my friend, if you haven’t been told lately, I need you to know this: you are so brave, you are so courageous and you are so strong. I just want to thank you for still being here and continuing to shine your light even while your world is filled with darkness. Your story matters. Your life matters. You matter. Much love. If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741 . We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Getty Images photo via Grandfailure

J Y M
J Y M @noahxnorah
contributor

When Your Mental Health Treatment Team Breaks Your Trust

I was recently reading through forums of people who were dealing with suicidal thoughts but did not want to reach out to professionals and/or hospitals because they’ve had a bad experience with it. Trust was broken, they didn’t feel like they were treated fairly, and they had all sorts of other very good reasons for why they were feeling apprehensive toward psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists or anyone else in a professional mental health role. A lot of people wrote that they would never reach out again and would rather deal with the mental illness themselves. It really saddened me to read all the stories, because these people were the ones that we’re meant to be able to ask for help from and talk things through with. Yet these were the people that had broken trust and caused such bad experiences that their patients were no longer willing to open up and get help. I’ve been very fortunate to have had very understanding and caring psychologists and other people in authority positions who allowed me to feel confident in being fully honest and open. So I couldn’t really understand the pain and frustration people had about not wanting to reach out, but knew they needed help. However, this all changed a few days ago. I shared something with someone I trusted in a conversation, disclosing that I had thoughts of harm, and without my consent, the stuff I said was passed on to higher authorities and I ended up having to get a psych evaluation at a hospital. I was fuming when I was told I needed to get one and that they wouldn’t let the matter rest until it happened. Don’t get me wrong, I understand there are procedures and protocols when it comes to this, especially when they think a person is a threat to themselves and/or others. I get that. But I don’t think I fell into that category, so for my conversation to have gotten passed on to a few different people — without me knowing it was happening — sucked. It hurt and the trust I had was gone in an instant. It made me never want to open up to anyone ever again. I felt like I couldn’t trust anyone. I wanted to withdraw and just do it on my own. I was frustrated. I was angry. I wanted to shut off completely. But I knew I couldn’t. I knew it wouldn’t help me or the situation. I knew that my mental illness wanted me to isolate myself so it could win. I knew it was telling me lies; like I should never trust people again, I shouldn’t reach our for help anymore because it always backfires on me, and I shouldn’t be honest with how I’m feeling when asked, out of fear of being sent to the hospital again. To win this, I knew I was going to have to get back up and fight against the lies. Through multiple conversations with friends and other professionals, I was reminded of the importance of opening up even when you’ve been hurt and continuing to ask for help so that I’m not alone. So to those who have been hurt, I just want to encourage you with three things that help me: 1. By not opening up to mental health professionals, it can be hard to get the help you need. It may seem like you’re punishing the other person, but it can also hurt you. It doesn’t benefit them whether you open up or not, but it can benefit you. You are often the one that will gain from seeking help and opening up. 2. There will be someone who will get you, who will understand you, who will not freak out when you have dark, harming, suicidal or negative thoughts. You can find someone who will be able to work through your thoughts with you, who will sit with you and talk it out. I did, and I’m so glad I found her. So keep searching, it can take time, but please don’t let your bad experience with previous mental health professionals put you off from getting help. 3. Remember that when the person you trusted broke your trust, they probably knew it was a risk they had to take. They have protocols and procedures they need to follow as part of as their duty to care for individuals. They may have broke your trust in the hopes that one day you would understand why they had to do what they did. They probably did it because they care for you and want you to be healthy. They want you to be safe and to get better. They just want the best for you. I hope this reminds you to get the help you need and not let your past experience or a certain event stop you from reaching out. Please know you have the right to feel angry and frustrated when your trust is broken — your feelings are valid. But don’t let it stop you from getting help, because you deserve to feel better. And to anyone who is on the other side listening to someone share their suicidal thoughts, please make sure that throughout the process you make that individual feel like a person and not a threat. From personal experience, it really doesn’t feel good to be treated like that. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here .

J Y M
J Y M @noahxnorah
contributor

Why Putting My Mental Health First Meant Cutting Out Some Friendships

In this two-year journey of dealing with depression and anxiety, I have had to learn to distance myself from some relationships in my life just because it wasn’t benefiting me or my health. I struggled so much with this because personally when I let someone in my life, they’re in for good. I value loyalty and once I’m close to someone, I tend to overlook a lot of things because I treasure who they are and their friendship. So when it came to my struggles with my mental health, I was shocked when I couldn’t count on some of my closest friends. I quickly realized this was not only a new territory for me but for them too, and some just couldn’t accept to the reality of my mental health and/or couldn’t understand it. And though it sucked to adjust some friendships, I learned that for my own benefit, I had to because their words and advice were causing more harm than help. Some people may see this as selfish and make you feel guilty for putting yourself first, but I’ve learned to see it as self-care and to know when to say enough is enough. Because when your mental illness is winning, you don’t need someone else to make you feel guilty for taking a rest day. Because when you haven’t felt anything but numbness for so long, you don’t need extra voices telling you it’s wrong to schedule fun activities in your week. Because when you’re dealing with depression and anxiety, your mind is already letting you down, and you don’t need anyone else in your life to make you feel stress for feeling low. It doesn’t help you at all. So if you’re like me and struggle with ending relationships that aren’t unhelpful in this journey, I want to remind you of this: 1. Your health is important and sometimes it’s necessary to end things that aren’t helping you. You matter and it’s OK to put yourself first. 2. Choose the people you let in on your journey and struggles carefully. No matter how many times you try and give them the benefit of the doubt, some people just won’t get it and some just don’t care to get it. It sucks, but it’s the reality. So know your limits of chances you can give to a friend, and know when it’s time to stop. 3. Try and not let their words get to you. They are not you and don’t know what you’re dealing with. So be easy on yourself. You’re doing the best you can and you yourself knows best on what you need. 4. Though they might not be the right person to do this season of your life with you, you can still be friends and acknowledge them when you see them. They’re just not your go-to safe person. Your safe people are meant to help you, encourage you and built you up. They are not meant to pull your down. You deserve to get better, to take care of yourself, to get your mind to a better place, and you don’t need people adding unnecessary negativity to that. Put yourself first and fight for your own mental well-being. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Unsplash photo via Maranatha Pizarras

J Y M
J Y M @noahxnorah
contributor

When Your Mental Health Treatment Team Breaks Your Trust

I was recently reading through forums of people who were dealing with suicidal thoughts but did not want to reach out to professionals and/or hospitals because they’ve had a bad experience with it. Trust was broken, they didn’t feel like they were treated fairly, and they had all sorts of other very good reasons for why they were feeling apprehensive toward psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists or anyone else in a professional mental health role. A lot of people wrote that they would never reach out again and would rather deal with the mental illness themselves. It really saddened me to read all the stories, because these people were the ones that we’re meant to be able to ask for help from and talk things through with. Yet these were the people that had broken trust and caused such bad experiences that their patients were no longer willing to open up and get help. I’ve been very fortunate to have had very understanding and caring psychologists and other people in authority positions who allowed me to feel confident in being fully honest and open. So I couldn’t really understand the pain and frustration people had about not wanting to reach out, but knew they needed help. However, this all changed a few days ago. I shared something with someone I trusted in a conversation, disclosing that I had thoughts of harm, and without my consent, the stuff I said was passed on to higher authorities and I ended up having to get a psych evaluation at a hospital. I was fuming when I was told I needed to get one and that they wouldn’t let the matter rest until it happened. Don’t get me wrong, I understand there are procedures and protocols when it comes to this, especially when they think a person is a threat to themselves and/or others. I get that. But I don’t think I fell into that category, so for my conversation to have gotten passed on to a few different people — without me knowing it was happening — sucked. It hurt and the trust I had was gone in an instant. It made me never want to open up to anyone ever again. I felt like I couldn’t trust anyone. I wanted to withdraw and just do it on my own. I was frustrated. I was angry. I wanted to shut off completely. But I knew I couldn’t. I knew it wouldn’t help me or the situation. I knew that my mental illness wanted me to isolate myself so it could win. I knew it was telling me lies; like I should never trust people again, I shouldn’t reach our for help anymore because it always backfires on me, and I shouldn’t be honest with how I’m feeling when asked, out of fear of being sent to the hospital again. To win this, I knew I was going to have to get back up and fight against the lies. Through multiple conversations with friends and other professionals, I was reminded of the importance of opening up even when you’ve been hurt and continuing to ask for help so that I’m not alone. So to those who have been hurt, I just want to encourage you with three things that help me: 1. By not opening up to mental health professionals, it can be hard to get the help you need. It may seem like you’re punishing the other person, but it can also hurt you. It doesn’t benefit them whether you open up or not, but it can benefit you. You are often the one that will gain from seeking help and opening up. 2. There will be someone who will get you, who will understand you, who will not freak out when you have dark, harming, suicidal or negative thoughts. You can find someone who will be able to work through your thoughts with you, who will sit with you and talk it out. I did, and I’m so glad I found her. So keep searching, it can take time, but please don’t let your bad experience with previous mental health professionals put you off from getting help. 3. Remember that when the person you trusted broke your trust, they probably knew it was a risk they had to take. They have protocols and procedures they need to follow as part of as their duty to care for individuals. They may have broke your trust in the hopes that one day you would understand why they had to do what they did. They probably did it because they care for you and want you to be healthy. They want you to be safe and to get better. They just want the best for you. I hope this reminds you to get the help you need and not let your past experience or a certain event stop you from reaching out. Please know you have the right to feel angry and frustrated when your trust is broken — your feelings are valid. But don’t let it stop you from getting help, because you deserve to feel better. And to anyone who is on the other side listening to someone share their suicidal thoughts, please make sure that throughout the process you make that individual feel like a person and not a threat. From personal experience, it really doesn’t feel good to be treated like that. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here .

J Y M
J Y M @noahxnorah
contributor

If You're Struggling With Depression Right Now, Read This.

Growing up and even now as a young adult, I always wanted to be known for being courageous and brave. Though people have told me I’m brave, I didn’t believe it because I didn’t seem to fulfill any of those expectations that could deem someone as courageous and brave. I wasn’t fighting for something that was impossible, wasn’t doing anything remarkable, wasn’t risking my life for the justice of the world. None of it. My life in a sense is very ordinary. I go to college, I attend church, I work part time and the rest of my time is spent hanging out with my friends. Nothing that’s changing the world or making a major global impact. But over this week, I realized I’ve been dealing with depression for years. The fact that I’m still here shows I am brave. I am courageous. I am courageous and brave for continuing in this fight and not letting it win.I am courageous and brave for living another day with this monster.I am courageous and brave for staying.I am courageous and brave for seeking help.I am courageous and brave for doing all I can to get better.I am courageous and brave for choosing not to give up even when that’s all I wanted to do. And so are you. To be here taking this next breath, to seeing another day, to being alive, when all you want to give up, is what makes you brave and courageous. To be dealing with a mental illness that consumes so much of you and sucks the life out of you, yet you’re still here fighting and not letting it win — that takes incredible strength and resilience. The fact that you’re reading this, shows you’ve gotten up every time after being knocked down, and though you may not have control over this monster, you are continuing to choose to fight against it every day. So my friend, if you haven’t been told lately, I need you to know this: you are so brave, you are so courageous and you are so strong. I just want to thank you for still being here and continuing to shine your light even while your world is filled with darkness. Your story matters. Your life matters. You matter. Much love. If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741 . We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Getty Images photo via Grandfailure

J Y M
J Y M @noahxnorah
contributor

Why Putting My Mental Health First Meant Cutting Out Some Friendships

In this two-year journey of dealing with depression and anxiety, I have had to learn to distance myself from some relationships in my life just because it wasn’t benefiting me or my health. I struggled so much with this because personally when I let someone in my life, they’re in for good. I value loyalty and once I’m close to someone, I tend to overlook a lot of things because I treasure who they are and their friendship. So when it came to my struggles with my mental health, I was shocked when I couldn’t count on some of my closest friends. I quickly realized this was not only a new territory for me but for them too, and some just couldn’t accept to the reality of my mental health and/or couldn’t understand it. And though it sucked to adjust some friendships, I learned that for my own benefit, I had to because their words and advice were causing more harm than help. Some people may see this as selfish and make you feel guilty for putting yourself first, but I’ve learned to see it as self-care and to know when to say enough is enough. Because when your mental illness is winning, you don’t need someone else to make you feel guilty for taking a rest day. Because when you haven’t felt anything but numbness for so long, you don’t need extra voices telling you it’s wrong to schedule fun activities in your week. Because when you’re dealing with depression and anxiety, your mind is already letting you down, and you don’t need anyone else in your life to make you feel stress for feeling low. It doesn’t help you at all. So if you’re like me and struggle with ending relationships that aren’t unhelpful in this journey, I want to remind you of this: 1. Your health is important and sometimes it’s necessary to end things that aren’t helping you. You matter and it’s OK to put yourself first. 2. Choose the people you let in on your journey and struggles carefully. No matter how many times you try and give them the benefit of the doubt, some people just won’t get it and some just don’t care to get it. It sucks, but it’s the reality. So know your limits of chances you can give to a friend, and know when it’s time to stop. 3. Try and not let their words get to you. They are not you and don’t know what you’re dealing with. So be easy on yourself. You’re doing the best you can and you yourself knows best on what you need. 4. Though they might not be the right person to do this season of your life with you, you can still be friends and acknowledge them when you see them. They’re just not your go-to safe person. Your safe people are meant to help you, encourage you and built you up. They are not meant to pull your down. You deserve to get better, to take care of yourself, to get your mind to a better place, and you don’t need people adding unnecessary negativity to that. Put yourself first and fight for your own mental well-being. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Unsplash photo via Maranatha Pizarras

J Y M
J Y M @noahxnorah
contributor

How to Help a Friend Who Is Feeling Suicidal

Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. This is a hard post to write. This topic is something really close to my heart, but it’s also something that needs to be talked about. You see, September 10th to September 16th is World Suicide Prevention Week, and according to statistics and research, The World Health Organization estimates that close to 800,000 people die by suicide each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. That is a scary huge number of lives lost each year and a number that needs to be lowered. And one of the way to help lower this number is to bring this subject into light, to talk about it, to break the stigma around it. From someone who has dealt with suicidal thoughts, I can tell you how hard they are to live with. It takes every power and strength in one person to not act when these lies are constantly in your head. And yes, I know the voice and the thoughts of “it’s easier to just end your life,” or “this is not worth it,” “this is too hard and it hurts too much,” etc. They are all lies and none of it is true. But the thing is, when you’re in that moment, you start believing it and you can’t tell what is truth or lies anymore. It consumes your mind and it just takes over. So I just want to say, if you are struggling at the moment with suicidal thoughts, let me tell you that it does get better; maybe not easier straight away, but you have the strength in you to get through this. You are braver and stronger than you think you are. Please don’t give up. Reach out and let someone know what’s happening. You don’t have to go through this alone. And please please please know you are worth fighting for. Your life matters. For those who are on the other end of the conversation, where you are listening to someone telling you about their suicidal thoughts, or you sense something is up and you are unsure what to do, here are some thoughts and tips I would like to share with you. I hope they will help you. 1. Please just start a conversation with them. Ask them: “Are you OK and is everything going OK?” Genuinely ask them and don’t accept “I’m OK” or “I’m fine” as an answer if you sense something is wrong. Ask further, try to get them to talk. Also, please make sure you don’t ask when you’re passing by in the corridor or in a group setting. They’re not going to be able to open up and share when there’s no privacy. Instead, pull them aside and get them one on one so they are more comfortable with you. This will help them and allow them to share with you if something is up. 2. Do not make them feel bad for feeling suicidal or having suicidal thoughts. Trust me, they do not want to be feeling like this, so you judging them does not help at all and it actually only makes it worse. 3. Don’t try to fix them. In that moment, they most probably not wanting someone to answer them, but just need someone to listen to them and let them know they’re not alone. So be that person. Be their listening ear, their shoulder to cry on. 4. Please don’t jump to conclusions. Let them fully express their thoughts and don’t bring your perceptions or thoughts into the conversation and where you think they’re at. As the listener, don’t label them or what they’re feeling; instead, allow them to word it themselves. 5. Don’t leave the conversation until they’re feeling better, and both you and the person are assured and believe the person is safe and won’t cause harm to themselves. These five things have helped me to be where I am today — alive and writing this. So, if you are on the listening end, I hope this helps you to help those in your world. If you are reading this and you are currently struggling with suicidal thoughts, I hope you know you are not alone in this and your story is not over. There is hope for you. If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 o r text “HOME” to 741-741 . Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Thinkstock photo via MargaretW

J Y M
J Y M @noahxnorah
contributor

5 Tips for Sharing in Therapy When You Don't Like Opening Up

Most people who know me know I’m a very private person. It takes quite a lot for me to open up to people, to share and be vulnerable. I just don’t like sharing about myself or talking about myself. I never have and I’m still so uncomfortable doing it. I just like to keep to myself and have things hidden in my heart. So when I was told I needed to see my school counselor and then was referred to a psychologist, it scared the crap of me. From what I’ve seen on TV, those sessions involve the patient doing most, if not all, of the talking — and that was my worst nightmare. Things were bad enough that I needed to talk about myself, and what’s worse was it would have to be with a total stranger. I was so hesitant in seeking help, but I also knew if I didn’t, things would not get better. So with the help of someone in my life, I made the first step and made an appointment. Before my first-ever meeting, I was so anxious about seeing the college psychologist that I had a panic attack. I still remember my first few meetings. I did not say a single word or all I could say was, “I don’t know.” It was mostly my psychologist doing the talking. I felt so bad that I was wasting his time because I could not and would not say anything, but I am so thankful for his patience and sticking by me. So two years on, and many sessions later, I’m now able to talk and share in my sessions, and now it’s more of a conversation instead of just me listening. I still do however get anxious from time to time about going to see my psychologist. But it is getting better, and I have learned a few tips on getting comfortable with talking to your therapist that I would like to share in hopes that it’ll help you and let you know you’re not alone in how you’re feeling. 1. Write it all down. If you’re like me, and words just don’t come out of your mouth easily, write down what you want to share. And when you get to the session, get your therapist to read it if you’re too uncomfortable to share it yourself. In time, hopefully you won’t need this safety net, but will be able to share freely. But for me this was a good starting point. 2. Jot it down in bullet points. Once I moved on from writing all my thoughts and getting my psychologist to read it, he wanted me to start saying things out loud. When I had to move to this stage, it scared me and my mind would go blank. So I learned to write down summarizing bullet points. This allowed me to open up when I forgot and jog my memory. 3. Find someone you’re comfortable with. This will help make sharing and talking about yourself easier. Watch how they react when they hear about what you’re going through. Look at their facial expression and body language, watch the words they use. Sense how you feel with them. Do they believe in you? Do you feel like you’re in a safe zone? If not, don’t be afraid to change the person you’re seeing. It went through a few psychologists to find the one I’m seeing. Now I can be 100 percent open and feel safe and comfortable in doing so. 4. Try to make yourself comfortable. I would wear clothes that made me feel good whenever I saw my psychologist. As talking was something so uncomfortable for me, I needed to make sure my clothes didn’t add to it, nor did my environment. Whenever I went to their office, I would move and shuffle the pillows and things on the couch so I could be comfortable. I found that when I’m physically at ease it made it easier for my mind to be OK with talking about what was going on. 5. Just give it a go. Start with one sentence, then two and build up from it. Slowly but surely, you’ll get to a point that you can share freely without it being such a struggle. Bonus tip for after therapy: Because I don’t like talking, and having to talk about myself for one hour is way too much for my liking, I would usually do something chill after that does not require me to talk about myself. This allowed me to “recover,” so I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed with it all. I hope this helps you in making the first step to be free. You deserve it and you’re definitely not meant to do this alone. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Thinkstock photo via stockbyte.