When It Comes to Mental Health, a Problem is a Problem is a Problem

Photo by Cole Hutson

Photo by Cole Hutson

In the past, we’ve talked about what you can do if someone you care about is dealing with a mental health issues — ways to be a good friend and support them in difficult moments. But let’s take a step back: what do you do when someone first opens up about their mental health? How do you handle someone asking for help, setting boundaries, or explaining their limitations?

If that sounds like an awkward conversation waiting to happen, don’t worry: Doctor B is here to help. Our clinical director, Raffael Boccamazzo, talks about that very subject in this month’s Year of Mental Health article at Geek & Sundry.

Aside from cementing my place as the head of the Department of Redundancy Department, the phrase, “A problem is a problem is a problem!” is meant to illustrate something to those I work with: problems are real to the person experiencing them, whether that’s you or someone else – and no value judgements will change that. If a person can’t focus on their work because they keep thinking the same thoughts about their home life, that is a problem. If a person can’t meet people because they are too nervous to talk to them, that is a problem. If a person repeatedly can’t beat one mission on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, that is also a problem – but maybe that’s just me?

Obviously, not all of these problems have the same impact on a person’s life, but no problem can be solved without acknowledging it first. If a person trusts you enough to describe a personal problem they have, honor it. Don’t argue or minimize their problem. What’s more, just because another person might have it “worse” doesn’t mean a “smaller” challenge isn’t worth addressing.

 
That’s just a taste of the many great tips for being excellent to the people around you that Doctor B shares, so check out the full article at Geek & Sundry. If you want to help too, pop by the comments to let us know what’s made the biggest difference when you’ve needed compassion.

[Geek & Sundry]