Could you use some help?

By David Joel Miller

Why is it so hard to ask for help?

David Joel Miller

David Joel Miller

When it comes to physical, tangible, things most of us are able to ask for help. But when it comes to the emotional and mental problems in our lives we find it difficult if not impossible to ask for help.

If you need to move, you ask your friends to show up and help you carry the furniture. You may even borrow someone’s truck to move you. It is not uncommon for people to borrow money when they can’t pay the rent. Why not ask for emotional help?

Is there some special reason we don’t like to ask for help for our emotional problems like depression or anxiety?

Why avoid help for relationships issues?

Lots of these panic – need to move this weekend, situations, are the result of relationship breakups. Frankly, most of those relationships had problems that could have been treated if one the people involved would ask for help. That is what marriage and family therapists do every day.

Why is it easier to justify borrowing $1,000 to move, but so very few people will spend $100.00 to work on salvaging that marriage in the first place?

Need help with an addiction?

The same is true of other life problems. Someone has a drinking problem. They resist going to treatment, can’t ask for help for that. But after the arrest or they lose their job they will ask to borrow money to pay the lawyer, bail bondsman and the fine.

Help, for the record, comes in all styles and colors. Friends can offer help for emotional problems if you let them. There are self-help groups and there are self-help books. Most of these work on yourself solutions are a lot cheaper than neglecting the problem and then paying the consequences.

Professional help is also often a good investment.  CPA’s are known to refer management of family owned companies for family counseling. It is a whole lot cheaper to work out the conflicts between family members than it is to liquidate the family company.

Self-help groups recognize the need to be willing to accept help. The third step in the twelve steps is, to my way of thinking, primarily about being willing to accept help. So is sponsorship.

Everyone has times in their life when they need help with emotional problems. The smart people are not too proud to ask.

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books


18 thoughts on “Could you use some help?

  1. Hello David!

    I always thought it was a weakness to ask for help. I had got this far in life without it , so why ask now? Big mistake… that’s why I had a breakdown. Therapy has pulled me out of some pretty dark places my mind sometimes wants to g


    • Silly phone!! Sorry!

      Meant to say Go! Lol
      Therapy is worth every cent and more!
      BTW: I am now out of my house and single.
      It feels very strange and I’m taking baby steps! 🙂

      Hugs Paula xxx


  2. Unfortunately, I think the stigma that is attached to mental illness or any perceived “weakness” in us, keeps many from asking for help. But as you say, the costs are much greater if we don’t…..good post.


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