I’m Lost

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Welcome to our weekly Helpdesk Edition. Here, we focus on real issues affecting people in their everyday lives. This week, we focus on a Redditor user feeling confused. They have been diagnosed with a mental illness. They also lack the financial strength to support themselves. Here’s their story:

I just learned i have another 3 letter mental illness I didn’t know i was diagnosed with since a kid and I’m 31 now. My mom is about to move to Canada to leave me physically,mentally, and emotionally handicapped and I’m horrible at asking for help. Even just advice. 

So I have 9 weeks to find a place to live while being in an financial nightmare. I just financed a car that went straight to shop for warranty work and been there for months and the stress is eating me alive. 

I don’t have time or the skills to call for therapy and etc. What do I do? Where do I start? I’m so lost. Any help would be appreciated.

It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed and lost in your situation. You’re dealing with multiple stressors, each of which is significant on its own. Allow yourself to feel these emotions without judgment. This acknowledgment is the first step toward finding a path forward.

Here are practical steps to help you:

  1. Understand Your Diagnosis

Learning about a new mental health diagnosis, especially one you’ve had since childhood without knowing, can be overwhelming. It’s important to give yourself time to process this information. 

Remember, this diagnosis doesn’t define you; it’s simply a part of your overall health picture. Understanding your condition can help you better manage it, and there are resources available to assist you:

#1. Educate Yourself

Start by learning about your diagnosis. Reliable sources like medical websites, books, or support groups can provide valuable insights.

#2. Reach Out

Consider contacting organizations that specialize in your condition. They often offer support networks and resources.

  1. Prioritize Your Mental Health

While it may feel overwhelming to seek therapy, it’s crucial for your well-being. If calling for therapy feels too daunting, consider these alternatives:

#1. Online Therapy Platforms

Websites like BetterHelp or Talkspace allow you to connect with a therapist online, often with flexible hours.

#2. Local Support Groups

Look for support groups in your area. They can be a great source of comfort and practical advice.

#3. Hotlines and Chat Services

Crisis hotlines and chat services can provide immediate support and resources. For example, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers free, confidential support 24/7.

  1. Manage Financial Stress

Financial difficulties can make stress and mental health issues worse. Here are some steps to take control:

#1. Budgeting

Create a realistic budget to manage your expenses. Use apps like Mint or YNAB to help track your spending and identify areas to cut back.

#2. Assistance Programs

Research local and national programs that offer financial aid, food assistance, and housing support. We compile a list of available benefits in our weekly newsletter. Subscribe to stay in the know.

#3. Debt Management

If you have significant debt, consider reaching out to a credit counseling service for advice on managing and reducing your debt.

  1. Find a Place to Live

With nine weeks to find new housing, it’s essential to start your search as soon as possible:

#1. Affordable Housing Options

Look into affordable housing programs or co-living spaces. Websites like Craigslist, Zillow, or local housing authority listings can be helpful.

#2. Social Services

Contact local social services for assistance. They can often provide resources or direct you to organizations that help with housing.

#3. Community Resources

Reach out to friends, family, or community groups. Sometimes, personal connections can lead to temporary housing solutions or useful advice.

  1. Address Your Car Situation

A non-functional car can add to your stress, especially if it’s needed for daily activities:

#1. Follow-Up

Regularly check in with the repair shop to expedite the process.

#2. Alternative Transportation

Look into public transportation, ride-sharing apps, or carpooling with friends or colleagues as temporary solutions.

  1. Ask for Help

It’s okay to ask for help, even if it feels uncomfortable. Here are some tips:

#1. Start Small

Begin by asking for small favors from close friends or family. This can build your confidence in seeking help.

#2. Be Specific

When asking for help, be clear about what you need. Specific requests are easier for others to respond to.

#3. Accept Assistance

Remember that people generally want to help. Accepting assistance when offered can lighten your load and help you manage your stress better.

  1. Take Care of Yourself

Finally, self-care is vital during this time. Ensure you’re getting enough rest, eating well, and finding moments of joy or relaxation, even if they’re small. Activities like meditation, reading, or gentle exercise can help reduce stress.

 We’re Here for You

Many people face similar challenges. So there are resources and communities ready to support you. Taking the first step, no matter how small, can lead to significant improvements in your situation. If you need more personalized advice, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help.

Your Questions Answered

Got a Question or Issue?

Thank you for reading! We hope our answers help you navigate public benefits with ease. If you have a question or an issue you’re facing, we want to hear from you. Share your story with us, and let us help you find the answers you need.

Submit your question here.

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Let’s solve it together!

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Sabrina is a former campaign manager who has decided to focus her effort to help people contact senators and get help. She leads our Editorial Team with Ronald and Lawrence to curate content and resources that help us navigate the system.

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