I am often asked how do I know if I should go to therapy? This is an excellent question and odds are if you are asking yourself this, it is probably time to seek help. Of course we all have times in life when we feel overwhelmed, stressed out, and down. So if we all experience this, when is therapy a good idea? Well, I usually tell people that there are several signs to look for and some are obvious while others can be subtle and take time to notice.
- You are feeling “off” and not yourself
If you have been having trouble controlling your emotions and do not feel quite like yourself for a prolonged period of time, it may be time to seek counseling. Sometimes this feeling can disrupt your sleep, appetite, attitude, and overall mood.
- You have stopped enjoying the things that you like to do
Perhaps you used to go out with friends and family but now you find yourself declining invitations because it is no longer fun for you to join in. Or maybe you rather stay home instead of participating in the hobby you used to work on so often. This could be another sign that something is interfering with your wellbeing and therapy could help.
3.You are having trouble adjusting to a life change
Major changes in life can be difficult for everyone but sometimes we can’t seem to get adjusted and the difficulty never goes away. Such changes can include, marriage, divorce, having a child, illness, death of a loved one, moving, change in job/career, or retirement. If you notice that you are having continued trouble with a major life change counseling can help.
- You are using substances to cope with life stressors
Many people find themselves turning to substances, such as alcohol, prescription drugs, or street drugs to help numb the pain they feel. You may notice that you are pacifying your stress with beer or wine every night before bedtime and that your problems feel like they are actually getting worse. Abusing substances is a very dangerous way to deal with life’s problems and I strongly encourage anyone doing this to seek help immediately.
- You experienced a traumatic event
Trauma can appear different to each person. Perhaps you have experienced something traumatic that you can’t stop thinking about or maybe there was abuse or neglect in your past. Whatever the trauma is, it is so important to start therapy as soon as possible to learn how to cope with the devastating and often crippling feelings associated with trauma.
If you do not relate to any of these signs but still wonder if therapy could benefit you, I recommend that you seek out a therapist and give it a try. Most people can greatly benefit from counseling and it is always a positive way to improve wellness and overall health.
Written by: Kathryn Chambers