I have experienced the deathly presence of silence too many times. For many people, including myself, peace and quiet is enjoyable. Unfortunately, when you’re experiencing emotional health issues, silence is like an assassin. Your head will struggle to make sense of the way you feel, and silence will step in to kill.
This should be considered in two ways.
The first applies to when you are silent during a time of need.
Many of the ad campaigns, memes, PSAs, and hashtags encourage you to reach out. Society wants you to speak up. Rightfully so, since there’s very little anyone can do when they don’t know something needs to be done.
I believe that emotional health cannot be truly resolved until it is addressed. Even if you can get through a wave of depression, it’ll eventually come back just as bad, if not worse. A conversation about your situation can be one way, it can be with anyone, and it can even be a one time deal(although I highly encourage continuing a dialog as the situation progresses). Personally, I’ve learned I can process things better when I talk about them. But to who? Who can you trust with such conversation?
The answer to this question is unique to each individual. I’d start with a friend and be cautious of family. Family can tend to be overwhelming – or worse, underwhelming – with care. They’ve known you forever. They may panic and make every conversation about your problems, which can be taxing. On the other hand, they could dismiss it out of denial or disinterest and that reality can add to the problem.
A friend close enough to understand you is best, I’ve learned. The perfect confidant is someone that understands you, that can rationally accept your situation, and will appreciate that you came to them. If this still makes you uncomfortable, strongly consider a professional counselor. One of my good friends sees a counselor and often doesn’t even know what he’s going in to talk about. Going through the motions and giving himself the opportunity to unload is therapeutic enough. Occasionally, he realizes something is weighing heavily on his heart, and takes advantage of already being in the proper setting.
The second describes your atmosphere during a time in need.
If you’re alone in silence, you’re alone in your head. Even if you’re not ready to be forward about your problems, it’s important to continue human interaction. If you can’t reach a human (due to time of day or conflicting schedules), watch a show you enjoy or music you can relax or dance to. Try to exercise. Try to write. Nothing has to be good or perfect or a definite fix. Just try to keep your brain engaged with its environment.
When you’re alone, stuck in your own head, you start to entertain the demons in your head.
These demons live in the darkness and come out when it’s silent. You must disrupt the silence.