In working with patients, sometimes it’s hard to convince them that things can get better. When I work with people who have struggled for many years due to depression or anxiety, they don’t feel that things can get better and struggle to see things from a different perspective. When you have financial problems, relationship issues, and no reason to get out of bed in the morning, life is hard. With people working two and three jobs to try to get ahead, the getting ahead sometimes never seems to happen. That kind of depression and sadness can be overwhelming, and limit someone’s ability to “look on the bright side”.
I have come to understand that for some people in our country there is no bright side. So how do you help someone when they get that low? Research tells us that the combination of medication and behavioral therapy can help make changes in a person’s perspective and behavior. That’s great, but what if they are still struggling to make ends meet? That part gets a bit harder. If someone is homeless, can’t find a job, is not ready to maintain a job, or struggling in other ways, there has to be more support for them to make long term changes. I believe that most people would like to work and be productive. I will say that a small percentage of people don’t want to work, but most would like to feel productive and be able to have a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
For many, they will need help and support to make progress, not just with counseling and mental health support, but with job training and education around what it takes to maintain a job. Being to work on time, maintaining a good work ethic, getting things done, are all job skills that can be taught to someone who is willing to learn. There is so much more to feeling productive than getting hired. There are people who can get hired but can’t maintain employment. There are also people who can’t get hired that would be able to do well if someone would give them the support or understanding they need.
As people struggle around you, think about resources in your community. If you are struggling, look for ways to get support. Often there are employment places around that can help with putting a resume together, and help you start working on job skills, including how to dress, how to present yourself, and interview skills. If you are struggling with financial problems, there are resources to help with incidental problems (but money goes quickly). Most communities have assistance, depending on income and other qualifications. Accessing those resources are important. If you need support for mental health issues, get help as you need it. Let someone help you change your perspective. When things look impossible, sometimes it’s hard to see anything getting better, but there is help out there.
A spoon full of sugar can make anything sweeter, and the help you can access if your own community can help you change your life, for the better. If you need to know where to start, your local community mental health agency can provide resources and places for you to call. Look for other resources like employment agencies and other services that can help you with options. Things can get better, and with support to change your perspective and your life, you can be happy again and feel better about your future.