When to Find a Therapist
Every person experiences sadness, stress, grief, and guilt. These are normal human emotions, but there are times when these emotions start to take over your life. Seeing a therapist can be a great way to work through difficult emotions, learning how to deal with them straight-on. Sometimes just saying something out loud to a person who is trained to help you analyze and handle your anxiety or sadness can solve the problem. The big question, though, is when to find a therapist?
1. Every emotion you feel is an intense emotion.
We all might occasionally feel “down in the dumps” for no reason or, conversely, anxious about a particular situation. When you stop feeling acute emotions, however, this might be a sign that it’s time for you to find a therapist. Whether it is sadness, anger or something else altogether, if just about anything will send you into a downward spiral, this typically means that you are not currently handling things very well and that now might be a good time to start looking for help. This is especially true if you have started to avoid situations or people because they make you feel these intense emotions that you are not prepared to deal with.
2. Trauma has occurred and you cannot get it out of your head.
If you seem to be fixated on trauma that you have suffered, whether a long time ago or recently, this might be a good time to get counseling. We often assume that these intense feelings are going to go away on their own as we continue to live our lives, but this simply is not always true. If grief, anger, or sadness is impairing you, making it difficult for you to live your life because it is so present in your mind, getting help from a therapist could be the very best way to deal with this trauma.
3. Your body is suffering.
The state of the mind deeply affects the state of the body. Even if you are not conscious of your emotional distress, it could be ruining your health. Do you often get headaches? Are you experiencing digestive issues? Is your immune system so run down that you are getting sick frequently? Especially if these issues seem to come out of nowhere and persist no matter what you do, they could be signs of emotional distress.
4. You are self medicating.
There are lots of ways that you could be self-medicating. The most popular way is with alcohol, but some people might use food or illegal substances in order to cope with the emotions they have been feeling. If you feel that you are being driven to use substances, it could be because your mind is driving you to find something to numb the unwanted and negative feelings that you have been experiencing. Any type of self-medication, especially if it is constant, can be a sign that you are under a great deal of stress and are looking for a way to make yourself feel better.
5. You are having trouble performing at work.
Turmoil in your mental state can have a very real effect on your performance at work. Changes in how you perform at work is one of the most common signs that you are distressed or stressed out. You might notice these changes yourself, but you probably will also start to see negative feedback from peers or supervisors regarding your work habits. If this goes on for more than a few days, it’s time to start thinking about seeing a professional and trying to figure out what is going on.
6. You do not find any joy in things you previously loved.
Have you ever sat down to play a favorite game, read a favorite book, or watch a favorite movie and simply got no enjoyment out of something that used to be guaranteed to bring you joy? Maybe you have always loved to run and now it is difficult to even force yourself to put on your running shoes. This feeling of disillusionment is very common and it can be very discouraging. Whether you feeling that there is simply no purpose in doing those things you used to love or you are just too distressed to focus on them, a therapist could help you find new direction and renewed enjoyment for activities you used to enjoy.
7. Your mental state is taking a toll on your relationships.
Often when people are dealing with difficult emotions, they feel that they cannot talk to their loved ones about those emotions or concerns. It can be difficult to put into words how you are feeling or why you are acting the way you are acting. You might even feel like the people that used to love and support you are either pulling away from you or you are pushing them away. A therapist can help you find the words that you need to communicate why you are doing the things you are doing and saying the things you are saying.
8. Your friends or family are concerned about you.
If someone in your life has reached out and told you that they are concerned about how you have been acting or about changes they’ve noticed in your mental state, this is a huge sign that it is time to find a therapist. The people that know you well can tell when something is not right in your life, and while you might not always want to tell them about what is going on, getting the signal from them that they can tell something is up with you is a good indicator that you should seek professional help.
If this article resonated with you, it is time to find a therapist. Counseling can be both short-term or long-term, but no matter how long it takes, feeling better is most important. Invest in yourself and find pleasure in life again.