Vulnerability Sets You Free

Vulnerability+Sets+You+Free

Rosa Shvartsman, Staff Writer

“There is no need to suffer silently and there is no shame in seeking help,” said Catherine

Zeta-Jones, a Welsh actress. A study was conducted by the World Health Organization as they found between 30-80% of those dealing with mental health issues don’t seek treatment. This study was conducted to raise awareness for depression, addiction, bipolar disorder, and suicide. Sadly, many don’t seek professional help due to the stigma around seeking help, denial, and practical issues with reaching out. Instincts that may cause someone to neglect seeking help is acceptance of being vulnerable due to gender stereotypes, trauma, and fear. Furthermore, there are many small steps to improving one’s mental health through reaching out and accepting that help is provided. 

“Seeking help for mental health can seem like a daunting task. Especially when the roller coaster of mental illness have you trapped on the ride,” said the National Alliance of Mental Health. In detail, many don’t seek professional help due to the stigma around seeking help, denial, and practical issues with reaching out. In-depth, the stigma of help makes those dealing with health issues feel unsure of themself and leaves those wondering if asking for help is possible. In addition, those affected by mental health disorders won’t reach out for help due to them thinking admitting to having a mental illness is too great to comprehend. Furthermore, this may cause a state of denial in a patient, as well as some who have been diagnosed, may not recognize the problem to take action for. As well as that, seeking help isn’t practical for many individuals due to availability issues, and cost. “The first steps in setting yourself free… I am willing to grow,” said Butterflies Rising. Small steps individuals can take to slowly benefit themselves and accept help are resisting to stigmatize one’s self, and practicing coming to the conclusion that one may need help. First, resisting stigmatizing one’s self allows one to realize that a mental disorder may be a problem, but it is a problem that has a solution. Mental health disorders may have a long-term effect but once at peace with accepting one’s diagnosis, you may not only come to terms with asking for help but also set yourself free from feeling like a burden to yourself. Then, practicing coming to terms that one may need help promotes vocalizing how you feel, and the ability to express one’s needs. To sum up, even as many holds back from seeking help due to denial, practical issues, and the stigma behind reaching out there are ways to slowly step outside one’s comfort zone and start to set yourself free of being a burden to an illness. 

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable: to make yourself vulnerable is to show your own strength,” said Crissi Jami, an author. Many may feel ashamed to express vulnerability due to fear, gendered stereotypes, and previous trauma. In particular, most people who deal with mental health issues fear vulnerability due to the perception that they may not belong and fear rejection. Then, gendered sterotypes play a major impact on how society views gender roles and how they may seek emotional, mental, and physical health. For example, many young men have been exposed to toxic masculinity causing a lack of expressing themselves. Scientifically it’s been proven that 72% of men don’t seek help for mental health disorders. Ultimately, these social norms cause fear in men and women as many don’t want their disorder to be seen as a weakness. Finally, previous trauma may also cause one to have difficulties being vulnerable due to many wanting to protect themselves from any further mental damage. 

“Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our most accurate measure of courage,” said Brene Brown, an American researcher. Small steps which can be taken to help become comfortable with being vulnerable are slowly acknowledging that your feelings are worthy, and having faith in yourself and the outcome of your decision. First, acknowledging your feelings are worthy will not only build confidence but will help accept that you have a right to feel and express your emotions. 

Then, having faith in yourself and the outcomes of your decision can help become comfortable with being vulnerable by expressing emotional strength through the mindset “through any circumstance I’ll be okay.” All in all, even as many struggles to express vulnerability due to past trauma, gendered stereotypes, and fear small steps still show large amounts of improvements. 

“Sometimes you have to drop your guard so your heart can breathe,” said Emma Xu, an NSF graduate. Even, as many don’t seek professional help for mental health due to the stigma around seeking help, denial, and practical issues with reaching out; and suppress vulnerability due to gendered sterotypes, trauma, and fear. Importantly, resisting to stigmatize one’s self, and practicing coming to the conclusion that one may need help, as well as, acknowledging that your feelings are worthy, and having faith in yourself and the outcome of your decision are great steps towards a happier and healthier future. All in all, if you’re in need of someone to talk to, call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or via text 435748 to help spread awareness for mental health.