Something needs to be seriously wrong for you to see a therapist. That is one of the many misconceptions about mental health services. It is also a dangerous assumption.
The truth is, you should never let things get to the breaking point before seeking help. Although therapists can help you through a crisis, their services are much more effective when sought promptly. When you are having a hard time but pretending to be fine, you are making things worse. Hiding your pain digs you deeper into a hole that you will struggle to get out of.
It is advisable to think of therapy as a mental wellness check. While you exercise, eat well, and take care of your physical health, you must do the same for your mind. Therapy is a great avenue for checking whether your mind is coping well. If something is not right, you will notice immediately and take the necessary steps to correct it.
Are you confused as to whether you need therapy? Watch out for any of the signs listed below.
1. Feeling Overwhelmed
Concealing our emotions is the cultural norm. It works for the short term but is not sustainable. At some point, the pent-up emotions blow up. If you frequently experience strong outbursts of emotions, you might need help. That is especially true if you can’t stop crying or experience fits of anger.
2. Inexplicable Illness
Your mind, body, and emotions are all connected. When you keep feeling ill without getting a clear diagnosis, it might be a sign of psychological issues. Stress has been linked to lower immunity, body pains, digestive issues, and disrupted sleep. Therefore you should take physical symptoms as a warning and talk to a counselor.
3. Unhealthy Coping Behaviors
If you start drinking more than you used to or behaving impulsively, you might be experiencing psychological stress. Being unable to control impulses or using external things to cope is dangerous. When you cannot feel better without relying on alcohol and other substances, it is time to consult a professional.
4. Low Productivity
Depression can make it hard for you to focus on daily activities. Other mental health conditions can also interfere with one’s concentration and make them less productive. If you are experiencing memory loss, indecisiveness, and similar symptoms, you should consider therapy.
When you are listless, you no longer get excited about anything. You lose interest in all the things that fascinated you before and do not feel pleasure. Listless depression is quite common; sufferers lose all enthusiasm and do not want to engage in any exciting activities. If you realize that your favorite pastimes are not exciting anymore, you should find out why.
6. Loved Ones Getting Concerned
The people around you might notice your change of mood and attitude. They might express their concerns to you, and you might ignore them. It is easy to ignore things you find displeasing. However, take your friends’ concerns seriously. They want the best for you, so heed their advice and seek help.
People experiencing psychological stress tend to pull away from their friends and family. If you feel that you communicate with your friends less each day, and you would rather spend time alone, it is a red flag. Anxiety and depression are common causes of isolation. It is not normal to refuse others’ company all the time, so you better talk to a therapist about it.
8. Negative Behavioral Patterns
Repeating the same mistake over and over is a sign of deeper psychological issues. If your days get progressively worse, and you cannot see how to get out of the cycle of mistakes, you should investigate further. You could have some ingrained patterns to work through in therapy. Working with a professional can help you identify and deal with the root cause of the behavior.
9. Relationship Issues
If you cannot maintain a healthy relationship or are always arguing with your spouse, you might have some psychological trauma. Our relationships are a reflection of our past. It is common to recreate some dynamics that are similar to those we witnessed while growing up. Therefore, talking to a counselor can help heal past wounds and create better relationships.
10. Sleeping Difficulties
When your mind is at peace, you will have healthy sleep patterns. Sleep is a reliable indicator of wellness. If you suddenly have a hard time falling or staying asleep, there might be a deeper emotional or mental issue. A common misconception is that insomnia refers to the inability to fall asleep at night. This condition also manifests as frequent night waking, waking up very early and being unable to fall asleep.