The first step is always the hardest; that was certainly the case for me. Prevailing stigma around mental health often leads to a compounded issue where there’s so much pressure to hide that you fail to seek help.
In my case my choice to seek help came too late to save my marriage but perhaps prevented me from falling further down the rabbit hole and certainly took me back from risk for suicide. As an Asian-American male there’s a lot of cultural stigma not only for being a guy but on both ends of my cultural spectrum.
I’ve been happy to see the increasing public awareness towards depression and anxiety, but there’s still a considerable amount of negative stigma and assumed ‘risk’ for folks suffering from more severe cases such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and others. As a hunter and gun owner I can tell you when I was diagnosed I worried constantly that I was a danger to myself and others. Thankfully with the help of a good circle of friends whom I trust with my firearms I have a way to drop my risk factors when I feel a depressive episode forming. CBT and a lot more personal awareness and diligence have done their part as well. There’s no instant solution; of that I’m always conscious; but every little bit helps.