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We help others-- why can't we help ourselves?

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After examining some of the threads here, (I'm pretty new-- hi all) I've noticed an interesting trend that I'll phrase in a question.

Do you notice that when someone else is feeling down or going through a crisis we know how to comfort and encourage them, but when we ourselves are down or in crisis, we struggle to comfort and encourage ourselves? Interesting, isn't it? Go figure! :rolleyes:

I think this should serve as a lesson to each one of us: we do indeed have the resources inside us to comfort and encourage ourselves when we go through a crisis. By all means we can reach out to others when our circumstances seem overwhelming, but know that YOU YOURSELVES (myself included) have what you need to love and encourage yourself through all degrees of the unpleasantness that life brings-- from the day-to-day duldrums to the death of a loved one, relationship or job.

Do you want the proof of this? Just look at the replies you have made to the posts of other people who needed encouragement.

We can do this, people! We CAN help others and help OURSELVES to live a better, happier life!

Any thoughts on this?


SF Supporter
Damn right! Totally hit the nail on the head. I think i saw someone on TV quote something like "Why are the needy the best helpers?" ages ago. It's like a phenomenom of some sort. But DS is right. If we can help each other then why can't we convince ourselves that it can get better? The only reason i can think of is that we need a mirror that talks back because we might not trust our own opinions. Any other ideas???


Antiquities Friend
Staff Alumni
Yeah h2 a mirror is about right, that and i think when you feel so bad you also feel so alone and knowing someone is there is all that's needed to help us dig out our own inner resources.


SF Supporter
Exactly, like you want to talk to someone becuase you cant keep it all bottled up any longer.
Although I think we may cheer ourselves up to a point, but eventually a depression victim or someone who sad for any reason will be worn out by it all. Like being sat in a dark box with someone outside constantly telling you there is no way out. Eventually you will stop beleiving there is a way out. We need others to reassure us and help us out.


Well-Known Member
thats very true... the people who are in our situations are nice people... caring people.. we don't want other people to feel pain like we do..

its the whole thing ... if your friend started to do something negative... that you are doing... you would rather help the friend than yourself because you feel the need to help and want others to feel good

I dunno... I'm just rambling... but it seems we're low on our own priority lists alot of times.. but you bring up a good point! we probably can help ourselves feel better... buts its nice to hear it from another person
Everyone's made very good points.
I think another big factor in this is: It's very easy sometimes to know what advice you should give. But when it comes to taking your own advice, it can be very hard to find the strength to take that first step.
Luckily, there are a lot of great people here who want to help :) I don't know where I'd be without this place. :grouphug:
I personally find helping other people takes my mind of my own problems, i tend to concentrate on them more than myself. Having the sense that i've helped someone in some small way gives me a good feeling and makes me feel good about myself :smile: but when i come to trying to help myself i feel like im not worth the trouble, could be helping others that are much more worth it than me
you are so right

i think the needy are the best helpers because we see the best in other people, its sort of the psyche in tha we see the worst in ourselves, we can see the best in others (which makes us feel worse lol).

I mean...I love helping other people you know, its kinda some of the reason I joined here - I mean I joined because of my depression but I rarely if ever post about myself, I dunno I just think people won't reply or get me, but I love to come on and try and help other people.

I think going through so many negative things in life and internal struggles means we are good helpers...but its different helping yourself - I wish it were so easy - maybe our judgement is clouded by personal bias?

so many times I think...why don't I take my own advice...prolly because i think i am beyond help..i dunno


Antiquitie's Friend
hi all,

I agree with moonstar and vikki and other great points made here.
But, I don't seem to help others to allow myself to feel good. I do it if I think I have something to share thru my experience. I wish there were people around to help me when I was younger. I do admit it makes me feel appreciated when someone tells me I have a good point :excl:.

When I focus on my response to others needs, I forget my problems, get out of my mind. That is a short release for me.

The other reason I love to respond to attempt to share and help others is cuz I cannot change my situation. It is hard for me to accept. I want to change my life but have not yet figured out how. This way I can get my mind off my pain, hurt, stupid life. :wallbash:

Plus, you make new friends that can understand the emotions that we battle. And will not belittle us, ignore or say something sarcastic :grouphug:

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