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Mental Mondays: Experts Say These Are Glaring Signs To Know If You Need Therapy

Mental Mondays: Experts Say These Are Glaring Signs To Know If You Need Therapy

Signs you need therapy

Recognizing when you need therapy is an important step toward maintaining mental health. Sadly, we don’t know when it’s time to give up control and allow the experts to help. Or we see “getting help” as a sign of weakness. Instead, we choose to wing it, hoping it disappears someday. But the reality is we can’t wish away mental issues as they eventually catch up with us.

Trying to wish away mental illness is akin to hoping a broken bone will heal on its own without medical intervention. Mental health challenges, whether it’s depression, anxiety, PTSD, or others, often require expert assistance for effective management and recovery. Unlike fleeting sadness or stress, these conditions can significantly impact daily life, relationships, and overall well-being. Therefore, seeking professional assistance from therapists, counselors, or psychiatrists is crucial because they offer specialized knowledge, tools, and therapies tailored to address specific mental health issues.

Just as one wouldn’t hesitate to consult a doctor for a physical ailment, recognizing the need for expert mental health support is essential for anyone experiencing persistent emotional distress or behavioral changes. Expert help provides validation, guidance, and strategies that empower individuals to navigate their challenges and reclaim their mental health with proper support and care.

Check out possible signs you need therapy…

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If you experience one or more of the following signs, you may need therapy:

  • Always feeling sad or depressed: Feeling sad, hopeless, or empty for an extended period without a clear cause is a major indicator, especially when it starts to disrupt your usual daily routine.
  • Excessive worry or anxiety: Constantly feeling anxious or stressed, and being unable to relax is another indicator.
  • Emotional outbursts: Frequent episodes of anger, irritability, or crying without apparent reason are glaring signs that you need therapy. However, in women, menstruation or the luteal phase could be a contributing factor.
  • Significant changes in sleep or appetite: Experiencing insomnia, oversleeping, or changes in appetite that affect your daily life.
  • Withdrawal from social activities: Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed or isolating yourself from friends and family could be a sign that you need to see a therapist.
  • Difficulty coping with daily life: Struggling to perform daily tasks, meet responsibilities, or maintain relationships.
  • Substance abuse: Increasing use of alcohol, drugs, or other substances to cope with emotions or stress.
  • Experiencing trauma: Having difficulty processing or moving past traumatic events, such as abuse, accidents, or loss.
  • Persistent negative thoughts: Continuous negative thinking, self-criticism, or feelings of worthlessness.
  • Physical symptoms: Unexplained physical symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, or chronic pain that may be linked to emotional distress.
  • Relationship issues: Ongoing problems in relationships with family, friends, or partners that seem unresolvable may require visiting a therapist.
  • Major life changes: Struggling to adjust to significant changes, such as a new job, moving out, divorce, or the death of a loved one.
  • Poor performance at work or school: Difficulty concentrating, a decline in productivity, or a lack of motivation in professional or academic settings.
  • Compulsive behaviors: Engaging in behaviors that you feel compelled to repeat, such as obsessive hand-washing or checking things multiple times.
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide: Experiencing thoughts of harming yourself or ending your life could be a sign that you need therapy.

If you recognize any of these in yourself or someone you know, it may be time to seek help from a therapist or mental health professional. Early intervention can lead to better outcomes and improved well-being.

Check out how to know what type of therapy you need…

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After acknowledging that you need therapy, the next step is to determine the type of therapy that could be most beneficial. This depends on several factors, including your specific needs, symptoms, goals, and personal preferences. Here’s what to know:

  • Knowledge: Consider what you want to address in therapy (e.g. anxiety, depression, relationship issues, trauma, etc.) and your goals (e.g. improving mood, managing stress, developing coping skills, etc.). This helps you determine the course of action to take.
  • Possible solutions: Next, get to know the possible solution to your specific challenge by speaking to a healthcare provider. Solutions can include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Effective for anxiety, depression, and stress.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Helpful for emotional regulation and borderline personality disorder.

Psychodynamic Therapy: Focuses on unconscious processes and past experiences.

Humanistic Therapy: Emphasizes personal growth and self-actualization.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT): Focuses on relationships and social functioning.

Family and Couples Therapy: Addresses relationship dynamics.

Exposure Therapy: Treats phobias and PTSD.

Mindfulness-based Therapies: Incorporates mindfulness techniques to manage stress and improve well-being.

Photo: Cottonbro Studio/Pexels
  • Discuss further: The next step is to discuss further with a professional who is licensed to take care of your specific issue. They can help assess your needs and recommend a specific type of therapy.
  • Consider practical factors: This encompasses the availability of therapists specializing in certain therapies in your area or online, your comfort level with different therapeutic approaches, insurance coverage, and cost.
  • Evaluate and adjust: After starting therapy, regularly evaluate your progress. Don’t hesitate to discuss any concerns with your therapist and make adjustments, if needed.
  • Personal preferences and comfort: Your comfort with the therapist’s style and approach is crucial for effective therapy.

By taking these steps, you can better understand what kind of therapy might be most beneficial for you, and take action to alleviate your specific challenge.

Featured image: Iconic Prototype/iStock

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