The importance of asking for help – Is it time to admit I’m in need of help

Being able to recognize when you need help, and being able to ask for appropriate help, can become major hurdles in recovery from complex trauma. Appropriate help means asking for help with a task, rather than asking to be rescued or asking for someone else to do a task for you.

You are never strong enough that you don't need help. César Chávez. Picture of 3 old airforce planes flying together

You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.
César Chávez

Why the ability to ask for help is important

  • It shows a willingness to trust others, even if you do not completely trust, you are showing a willingness to take that chance. Broken trust is common in trauma survivors – for example the beliefs that no-one can be trusted, the world is totally unsafe, or that those you trust will exploit your trust in some way
  • To ask for help is to ask for something that may be refused, it’s important to have coping skills ready in case the person who ask cannot or will not do what you ask. Will you be able to view response like “not today” or “I can’t just now” without a trauma filter? Responses like these are not a rejection of you as an individual, and allow for the possibility that help will be available another time.
  • Asking for help is acknowledging that you can’t do every single thing alone, that you are not in fact, superhuman. This shows self-awareness and self-acceptance.
  • If you have been emotionally abused in the past this means you will probably feel very vulnerable. To be willing to show vulnerability shows strength and courage. 
  • Giving and receiving help is part of developing healthy relationships, which helps heal the relationship difficulties which are part of Complex PTSD. If asking for help is ready for you, see if offering help feels different

Read the blog that inspired this post
Is it time to admit I’m in need of help?

Sometimes we must yield control to others and accept our vulnerability so we can be healed.
Kathy Magliato, Healing Hearts: A Memoir of a Female Heart Surgeon

One of the greatest barriers to connection is the cultural importance we place on “going it alone.” Somehow we’ve come to equate success with not needing anyone. Many of us are willing to extend a helping hand, but we’re very reluctant to reach out for help when we need it ourselves. It’s as if we’ve divided the world into “those who offer help” and “those who need help.” The truth is that we are both.
Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Related Links


4 thoughts on “The importance of asking for help – Is it time to admit I’m in need of help

  1. Pingback: Complex PTSD and PTSD – Do you know the differences? | Trauma and Dissociation

  2. Pingback: DDNOS1 and Dissociative Identity Disorder – Do you know the differences? | Trauma and Dissociation

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