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self help is sometimes impossible



in this short discourse, i want to concentrate on two areas, mental health and addictive behaviours.


[very often the two go hand in hand]




self help:


there seem to be a number of people who believe that it is always possible for any person who is ill to help themselves without necessarily needing that much help from others.


i firmly believe that this is absolutely untrue.




without doubt self help is an extremely important component in the tackling of many illnesses, particularly within the two areas mentioned previously.


that said, for many people who are suffering there may well come a point at which self-help becomes utterly impossible.


they have no help left which they can give themselves.


the battle is simply too hard for them to fight alone.


they need outside help.


more importantly, they need professional help.




of course, offers of support from those wishing to give it are obviously always welcome, but advice or instruction given by somebody who has absolutely no idea [and absolutely no experience] whatsoever with regard to what the sufferer is going through may very well be seen as unwelcome, if not, on occasion, downright damaging.




it has been [correctly] pointed out to me by people who work in the mental health and addiction fields that those people who might 'advise' you to go for a bike ride, buy a self-help book, or simply think yourself lucky that you are not 'blind', 'in a wheelchair' or 'terminally ill' are simply displaying their utter ignorance with regard to a sufferers condition.




it seems impossible for a person to give advice when they have never experienced anything like the situation the individual they are 'advising' is undergoing.


therefore, if a person does not have the experience, the giving of advice is almost always best left to those who do.






by the way, i'm not suggesting that the sufferer remain entirely benign through any healing process, though in many instances a modicum of self help can only be achieved with the assistance of medical professionals, and certainly cannot be achieved if the sufferer is alone.






this short discourse was not written specifically for mr. julian andrew holtom.


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Taken on April 2, 2011