“I’ll go to get help, eventually.”

It seems many of us who need psychological help will seek it; it’s just that we’ll procrastinate about getting the help we need, continuously ‘putting it off’ until the last moment. Presumably, that’s when the psychological effects are at their greatest and we’re now desperate for help and an end to the torment.

Rebecca Stead, Matthew J. Shanahan and Richard W.J. Neufeld asked 135 female and 65 male under-graduates to complete an online questionnaire on procrastination, mental health and mental health help-seeking strategies. Their findings (Revised 11 March 2010. Accepted 24 March 2010) were as follows:

  1. The researchers’ hypothesis that stress and procrastination were tied in with poorer mental health was found to be true. (No surprise there.)
  2. Greater age [the older you are…] and the female gender are positively related to mental health help-seeking. (In other words, young men don’t seek help. Again, no surprise there.)
    It is their final conclusion that I find interesting:
  3. There is a pattern of poorer mental health and increased mental health help-seeking behaviours once there’s a reduced level of procrastination and reduced social concern for seeking help. (In other words: “I’ll go to get help, eventually.”)

There’s a lot of opportunity for help: it’s out there. The challenge is for people to take up the opportunity and not wait until they are desperate for a solution when it’s more likely to be a greater challenge to resolve than it would have been if they’d sought help at an earlier stage.

The good news, though, is nothing’s unchangeable as far as the mind’s concerned. After all:

“If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t you’re right.”

Will I become a world-leading violinist because someone’s shown me that “I can”? No, I probably won’t. It takes a genetically gifted skill-set along with masses of determination and effort to become a virtuoso violinist such as Alexander Markov. However, I believe that “I can” improve whatever area of my life I want, perhaps even considerably. I believe that “I can” change my thinking, attitudes and behaviours; all it takes is a rewiring of my mind from “can’t” to “can” and the commitment to consolidate that change permanently.

If you’re struggling with something can I recommend you not to get help, eventually? Seek out someone who can help you make the changes you want, now. If you want to chat to me, free for 15 minutes, by all means contact me and we’ll chat about what’s going on for you and how we can find ways of bringing the changes you want. It will be worth it.

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