Even in today's relatively enlightened society, there remains a lot of stigma around mental illness and therapy, but these are nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, seeking professional help is an act of courage and can be the first step to improving many aspects of your life.
But is there a way to figure out when you should go to therapy? Fortunately, yes! There are some clear signs that show it's time to find help for your mental health, which we'll discuss further in this article.
So often, people believe that therapy is only for those who deal with a mental ‘disorder’ like depression or anxiety. But in reality, it can benefit everyone, helping you live a healthier and more productive life.
According to the American Psychological Association, you should seek therapy if you experience significant distress that interferes with your daily functioning.
If you suffer a physical injury, you seek medical help to get the right treatment. Well, things are no different when it comes to your mental health, and that's why you should prioritise it.
How to tell if you need therapy
According to WHO, 1 in every 8 people worldwide deal with a mental health condition. If left untreated, these issues can impact different aspects of your life, such as your relationships, career, and physical health. At worst, they can increase the risk of suicide. The good news is that you don't have to struggle in silence. Here are some common signs that it's time to talk to a therapist.
You feel overwhelmed
Whether because of work or another reason, having too much on your plate can feel genuinely overwhelming. And if you don't learn how to manage the situation, your mental health will suffer, making it difficult to navigate day-to-day life.
You'll experience intense emotions, have trouble concentrating, and feel more fatigued. Therapy can help you identify the stressors in your life and why you're feeling overwhelmed, whether it's trauma, relationship issues or anxiety.
You avoid social situations
If you're constantly withdrawing from loved ones, there's probably a serious reason for it that needs to be addressed. It could be because of stress, anxiety or something else, and figuring out the cause on your own can be pretty difficult. So, suppose you notice a change in your behaviour related to your social life; that's a telltale sign you should consider therapy – especially if you no longer find joy in activities you once loved doing.
You've experienced trauma
Traumatic events can often lead to PTSD, which includes symptoms like sleep troubles, flashbacks, irritation and emotional numbness. There's a misconception that only those who served in the military can develop PTSD, but everyone can deal with this condition. Whether natural disasters or accidents, such incidents can be traumatic for people. As Accident Claims experts states, suffering an injury can cause significant stress to someone, dramatically altering their life. It's challenging to recover from a traumatic event on your own, but with a therapist's guidance, it is possible, so don't hesitate to get help.
You eat too much or too little
Change in appetite is a common symptom of mental disorders like anxiety and depression. Some may eat too little, while others may overeat. In both cases, you can solve the issue by addressing the underlying reason, whether anxiety, depression or an eating disorder like bulimia. Therapy is an effective way to manage the symptoms of these conditions and take better care of yourself.
You have a hard time at work
Work-related challenges can lead to mental health issues or worsen already existing ones. In fact, studies have shown that employees can even end up leaving a job due to their mental health struggles. If you feel like you're having a hard time focusing at work, or experiencing burnout, consider getting therapy. It will help you address factors that make you feel stressed so that heading to the office will feel less of a burden.
Grief is commonly associated with the death of a loved one, but there are different reasons why people grieve, such as losing a job or going through a breakup. Whatever the situation, grief looks different for everyone, and there's no rule regarding how long it takes. However, if it's affecting your life considerably, you should seek help. You don't have to navigate grief alone, and therapy can help you learn how to accept the loss you've experienced.
You go through a major change
Transitions are normal, but they require some skills, and sometimes, going through major changes can cause significant anxiety and stress. Fortunately, therapy can help you manage those emotions and identify the opportunities and advantages that come with a transition, thus motivating you to follow through.
A better quality of life is the main reason why you should seek therapy
The truth is that life is filled with challenges, and humans can struggle due to all sorts of reasons. But therapy can help you even if you've not reached a low point in your life – it's an effective way to improve different areas of your life and learn how to manage your emotions better. Many benefits come with seeking professional help, including:
- Comfort. Getting things off of your chest can feel incredibly relieving – especially if you've coped with everything alone for quite some time. It's comforting to know that you can talk about what you're going through in a safe space where you will be met with empathy and compassion, and that's what therapy can give you.
- Improved relationships. Humans are social creatures, and connecting to others is imperative for their well-being. But it's common to experience problems in your relationships for various reasons. Sometimes, you may not know how to set boundaries or find yourself stuck in unhealthy relationships. That's where therapy can help by teaching you how to identify unhealthy patterns and change how you interact with others to experience better relationships that add value to your life.
- Healthier coping mechanisms. Therapy can teach you how to cope with situations in a constructive manner, which can contribute to a successful and happier life.