Updated: Jul 12
This person knows when you're about to have a panic attack. The other person knows when you’re about to go into a depression. She calls you every week just to talk and gossip. He can recognize when you’re about to isolate yourself and takes you out to eat. Who are these people? They are your tribe.
What is a Tribe and Who’s In It?
GoodTherpay.org broadly defines a tribe as a community which has shared interests and provides support to its members. The key phrase being that it provides support to its members. Your tribe can be made up of friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, pets, doctors and other people who you get along with, respect and are supportive.
Benefits of Having A Tribe When You Are Challenged With Anxiety and Depression
Living with anxiety and depression can negatively affect so many parts of a person's life, including friendships. For those that are not familiar with what anxiety and depression can do to you, one can appear standoffish, paranoid, selfish, pessimistic, forgetful, just to name a few! Even though this may be true, these feelings come from a place that we don’t always understand. Anxiety and depression robs many of having a fruitful and enjoyable life because of these emotions, however, imagine having someone in your life that understands and supports you. Being part of a tribe means that you have someone that:
Celebrates good times with you
Offers support during bad times
Increases your sense of belonging and purpose
Boosts happiness and reduces stress
Improves self-confidence and self-worth
Help you cope with traumas
Encourages you to change or avoid unhealthy habits
Keeps you from becoming isolated when you are depressed and anxious
Although having a tribe is good for your health but it won’t take all your depression and anxiety away. You will still need to follow the treatment plan put in place by your doctor(s).
On the flip side, you need to make sure you get along with, respect and support your tribe as well. Don’t use your mental challenges to justify a one sided friendship.
Having friendships as an adult can be difficult to maintain due to life’s priorities. It may take some effort, but the support and comfort your tribe can provide each other it worthwhile.
MayoClinic.org gives some tips on nurturing friendships:
Be kind to one another
Show that you can be trusted
Manage your social/anxiety with mindfulness
How to Find Your Tribe
Finding friends as an adult can be tough and being challenged with mental health issues can make it tougher, but the benefits of having a support system is worth the effort. Here are a few ways you can find members of your tribe:
Attend community events
Extend and accept invitations
Take up new interests
Get to know your neighbors
Find online interests groups
Seek a spiritual community
My tribe is small, but mighty! I have a few girlfriends who know about my mental health struggles and can lift me with a Facetime chat, a text, a phone call and the list goes on. Their support has meant a lot to me and I’m glad that they are in my life. I don’t see them often, but they always seem to know when I need a pick me up. I’m thankful for them and I’m sure they’re reading this - Hey Girl!!!!
My 2 Cents
Your tribe doesn’t have to be large, it could be you and one other person as long as there is mutual respect and support
#ForBrownGirlsBlog is part of your tribe, I created this blog with you in mind! For those that don’t have a tribe or want one and it’s hard for you to make connections, I am here for you and hope the rest of the Hey BrownGirls! are too!
Did you know that I now have a podcast? It's called, For My BrownGirls! Podcast and you can listen to it HERE!
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*I am not a licensed therapist. This post does not serve as a form of therapy or diagnosis. If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911 or your doctor.