When to Seek Therapy: 6 Signs You Need a Therapist
The thought of seeking out psychotherapy for one’s problems can seem intimidating. After all, you are literally spending forty-five minutes a week pouring out your life’s problems and worries to someone you do not know. There are also many myths surrounding psychotherapy, as a profession and as treatment. For instance, some may still feel that therapy is for the “weak”. Most of us know by know, however, that myth just isn’t true. Strong-willed people seek therapy. Seeking out the help of a trained therapist is a sign of courage and strength, not weakness! If you are living with a mental health condition, the sooner you seek treatment, the better. Psychological disorders are known to spiral; they can rapidly get worse. Unfortunately, symptoms usually get worse before they improve. How do you know when it’s time to see a therapist? Please read on.
You start abusing something (or someone) to alleviate the pain
Many people living with mental health conditions feel the need to self medicate. This can be in the form of cigarettes, alcohol, and mood altering drugs. Sometimes, one may not even choose to abuse drugs, but other things such as food (emotional eating) and even excessive use of the internet (think social media). Conditions such as anxiety and depression can leave someone feeling overwhelmed. This feeling of powerlessness can cause someone to spiral down the rabbit hole of self-medication and addiction. The act of self-medication can have very harmful effects. If this sounds like you, seek counseling. Also, you may find yourself not abusing any of these things, but other people instead. Many will find themselves lashing out at loved ones. This is a sign that you need psychological support.
Others notice something different about you
You may get concerned remarks from the people who care about you. Your co-workers, teachers, or friends may notice something is wrong and pull you aside to ask if everything is okay. Your boyfriend or girlfriend may be worried and/or threaten to leave you if you “do not get help”. When there is an underlying mental health condition (such as depression for example) those closest to you will notice something is wrong and will show signs of concern.
You’ve tried everything and nothing seems to help
Maybe you have come to terms with the fact that something just isn’t right. Maybe your own coping skills just aren’t working anymore. Or, maybe you’ve tried talking to friends and exercising, but still feel the same. You may have even joined an online support group or read self-help books at the bookstore. If it just isn’t working, seek counseling.
Your condition is causing you significant distress
If your condition is preventing you from functioning normally, this is often a big sign. For example, if you have anxiety and it is causing problems in your work, home, and social life please see a therapist. Mental health conditions will cause problems with concentration, motivation, and will often leave you feeling out of control. This can also lead to isolation, which will cause you to spiral even more. Also, if your condition is causing you significant distress in your life for weeks on end, it’s time to seek professional help. Yes, we all get depressed from time to time or anxious. However, if it doesn’t improve within two weeks or more that is a sign it’s more serious.
You’ve suffered a traumatic event and it replays itself in your mind
Our brains are wired to do this after a traumatic event. The event may play itself over and over again in your mind, much like a movie. This is your mind’s way of trying to make sense of the event. Traumatic events include grief, a breakup, or the loss of a job. If this sounds like you, you may need to talk about how this event affects you.
You have unexplained physical symptoms too
When we’re emotionally upset, we can suffer from more “physical” symptoms too such as recurrent headaches, stomachaches, or a weakened immune system. Mental health conditions can really affect our bodies. Even chronic neck pain can be a sign of “carried stress” or emotional distress.
If you’re in need of therapy, seek professional help. You will be doing yourself a favor. The sooner you seek treatment, the better you will feel. Plus, everything you tell your therapist will be confidential, unless you are having thoughts of harming yourself. Core3 offers music therapy, counseling, and wellness coaching.
Call us to schedule your complimentary 20-minute consultation.