The Importance of Asking for Help When You Are Sick or Injured
If there are any lessons to be learned from the current global health crisis, it is that we are all fragile in one way or another. When it comes to our health, we may need physical, mental, or emotional care, and we shouldn’t be afraid to seek out help when it is necessary. COVID-19 has taught all of us that we should reach out to one another if we are hurting in some way or another.
Whether you require help with a physical or psychological issue, know that getting help as soon as possible will make the ultimate outcome that much better.
Why We Are Afraid to Ask for Help
It can be difficult to ask for help because of personal, cultural, or technical reasons, but, in the long run, it is considerably better to do so.
- Fear of rejection—many people find it difficult to put themselves into a position where someone might say “No.” Whether you are a sensitive person who is uncomfortable with rejection or you merely hate being denied something, it is important to develop a thick enough skin to brush aside rejection. Or you may choose to seek help from someone who is professionally obligated to help you.
- Feeling of weakness—some people find it very uncomfortable asking for help when hurting because they feel weak or incompetent. Perhaps asking for help clashes with your self-image of self-sufficiency or you do feel a compelling need to do everything yourself, but eventually you will realize that is unrealistic. While you are coming to this realization, you may be doing to yourself a great deal of unnecessary harm.
- Admission of imperfection—no one is perfect, no matter how they may appear. If for some reason, you feel compelled to live up to an impossible standard of perfection, then you will find yourself enduring unnecessary injuries, constantly lying to yourself, or punishing yourself for even the most minor of mistakes. Of course, asking for help is an impossibility until you begin to be honest with yourself.
- You embrace stoicism—many cultures and certain people feel that displaying emotions or pain is unacceptable. It can be exceedingly difficult to break out from such indoctrination, but just realize that asking for help earlier can save you pain and financial hardship down the road.
- Avoiding burdening others—if you feel that helping you will inconvenience others, you may justify not asking as sort of an unspoken gift. The reality is that most people are eager to help and feel better about themselves after helping a person in need.
- Unwilling to owe others—many people desperately want to avoid owing others, so asking for a favor is almost impossible. Instead of viewing a request for help as a transaction, you may want to view it as the first steps into a deepening friendship.
- Low energy—for people who find human interactions energy-draining, it can be difficult to work up the initiative to do something as momentous as ask for help with a health issue. It often takes multiple attempts, with each failed attempt pushing a success farther out of reach.
- Fear of no solution—many of us have been conditioned to seek out immediate solutions to problems. If there is no ready-made solution or if the solution is too difficult, we can be disappointed.
How to Ask for Medical Help
It can be difficult to discuss a personal health issue even with someone who is a medical professional who is obligated to keep the matter confidential. Start off by finding a doctor that you trust. It may take some time finding one that you feel comfortable opening up to but consider it an investment in your future health.
If you have difficulty asking help from a medical professional, then you may want to do some research online first. You may want to find out if there are any remedies available and how other patients broached the subject. You may even find some inspiring articles or videos of patients who recovered.
If you find a face-to-face discussion problematic, then you may be able to ask your question anonymously in an online forum. There are many sites like Reddit where you can ask questions of experts and get answers. However, you should understand that these are general answers that do not necessarily apply to you.
Finally, you may want to consider a telehealth visit which is a phone or video call with your doctor. You may feel more relaxed, and if you need it, you can have notes with you. You may even want a friend or family member with you, if you want the emotional support.
The Benefits of Asking for Help
Although there are many medical and psychological issues that may resolve on its own without medical intervention, there are many others that will only worsen over time. These deteriorating conditions will likely lead to more health problems, pain and discomfort, and higher medical bills the longer you wait. That is why you should ask for help as soon as possible.
Even if you are not asking for help from a health care professional, there are some significant benefits. Among the most important is that you could greatly reduce your recovery time by learning how others treated similar conditions. The help you receive from others could also make it much easier to return to full health.
When you receive help from others, you obtain a better understanding of your self-worth as well as the value of others in your life. You may realize that you mean enough to others that they are willing to sacrifice their time and effort, or you may realize that the people around are exceptional and to be honored.
You may find yourself grateful to loved ones and you could begin emulating them. This could help you grow as a person and help you become someone who is not only healthier but also more fulfilled and happier.
Article written by: Dr. Robert Moghim – CEO/Founder Colorado Pain Care
M.D. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the personal views of Robert Moghim, M.D. and do not necessarily represent and are not intended to represent the views of the company or its employees. The information contained in this article does not constitute medical advice, nor does reading or accessing this information create a patient-provider relationship. Comments that you post will be shared with all visitors to this page. The comment feature is not governed by HIPAA, and you should not post any of your private health information.