Deciding to engage in therapy is a deeply personal choice. People often struggle with whether or not their problems are “right” for therapy, and there is no all-encompassing list of reasons to go. However, iIf you can relate to any of the points below, it may be time to start looking for a therapist with whom you would feel comfortable.
Many people may naturally seek therapy after something tragic has happened and they don’t know how to handle the significant after-effects. This could be the sudden death of a loved one or a breakup. But there are other life events that may not lend themselves to seeking behavioral health services as readily, such as losing a job or the realization of having to talk oneself out of a panic attack when a loved one leaves the house. These issues need attention, too.
Five Telltale signs you need therapy.
You Feel Anxious–A Lot.
It’s important to remember that some anxiety is normal and healthy, but if it lasts for too long, it can take a toll on your overall well being. Anxiety can show up in many different forms, but some common symptoms are:
- Nausea with or without a “reason” (such as being sick)
- Wanting to be productive but being unable to organize your thoughts enough to accomplish anything.
- Feeling scattered
- Feeling exhausted all the time
These are just a few symptoms that can pop up. Some of these are normal and will pass with time, such as nausea before a job interview. However, understanding the balance between what is healthy and what is not can be challenging. Take note of when your anxiety began. If it occurs on most days for six months or longer, it’s time to get help.
Keep in mind you do not need to wait six months before seeking treatment. If your anxiety feels overwhelming and affects your ability to function, psychological services can help. Online trauma therapy may also be helpful if your anxiety is caused by a traumatic event.
You Have Lost or Gained Weight Without Intending To
In most cases, sudden or extreme weight loss or gain is a cause for concern. Sometimes this sudden change can cause, or be the cause of, eating disorders. There are several types of eating disorders, but the most well-known is Binge Eating Disorder and Anorexia. Both are dangerous, and both should be treated by a professional.
Another reason for sudden weight change is stress. Stress is a major cause of overeating. For some, being stressed and overworked may lead to forgetting to eat. It’s also not uncommon to turn to food for comfort.
It’s normal to eat emotionally sometimes, for instance, after your dog passes away, or after finding out your grandmother is due for yet another surgery. The issue can become problematic when emotional eating becomes your only go-to coping mechanism for life’s everyday problems.
Getting your stress under control is a key factor in overall mental health. If your stress levels seem high for more than a few weeks, in-person or online therapy may be beneficial. Mental health online services can help individuals uncover the source of their weight change and modify unhealthy behaviors that lead to eating disorders or harmful eating habits.
Your Self-esteem Has Taken a Dive
Self-esteem is crucial to your well-being, but it can be challenging to keep intact without the proper tools. Many things can cause it to rise and fall, like changes to your body (or lack thereof), stress, abusive relationships, or being publicly humiliated, to name a few.
Some instances only affect our self-esteem for a short time. Others, such as an abusive relationship, can wreak havoc on our inner dialogue, leading to soul-crushing thoughts about ourselves.
So when is it time to seek psychological services? Self-esteem may seem fickle, but pay attention to it. Journal it, if you can. If you’ve been recognizing patterns of feeling unworthy or unwanted, or if you find yourself spending too much time thinking about what other people think, it’s time to call in reinforcements. This could be through mental health services online or in person. .
Sense of Feeling Lost or That Nobody Loves You
This point goes hand in hand with the last one. If you feel like no one loves you, chances are, you may be struggling to love yourself. This is bound to happen at some point in everyone’s life, so you’re not alone!
Our mind is built to be prepared for the worst-case scenario, as a form of “protection”. This can be extremely helpful at times, but when it comes to interpersonal relationships…the negative impacts can outweigh the good.
Ask yourself who you have in your life right now. A spouse? A child? A friend? Let’s dive deeper. What about the lady at the gas station who knows you by name?
List the people who care about you, then ask yourself why you may be having difficulty loving yourself. The simple act of listing the facts of your life gives you a leg up in fighting against the lie that you’re alone.
Still, this lie can be deeply embedded in our minds without realizing it. Attending mental health services online or in person will provide you with the weapons to fight back.
One therapeutic weapon is journaling. Try this prompt to give yourself a head start. Don’t have a pen and paper? Just answer it in your head.
- List something negative your mind is trying to convince you of.
- Do you believe it to be true or false?
- Does your mind have hard facts to back up its claim?
- What is it using as facts? Are those facts valid?
This may seem a bit silly, but our brain's “protection” can be misleading! And while our brain may have good intentions (like keeping us safe), not helpful. Be kind to your brain and the thoughts it provides. Thank it for trying to help, but don’t be afraid to challenge it!
You Have So Many Emotions You Don’t Know What To Do Anymore
When our emotions are out of control, it usually means our subconscious is trying to let us know something is wrong. This could show up in the form of anger, sadness, anxiety, fear, or irritability. When overwhelming emotions become persistent, they can affect our performance at work, school, and in our personal lives. They can affect our relationship and ability to take care of ourselves.
Don’t be afraid to sit and listen to it! Sometimes it’s trying to tell you things you already know, but other times it may be bursting at the seams with buried trauma that needs to be processed.
Acknowledging what it’s trying to tell you is hard work. The subconscious may not communicate its needs clearly or openly, but that’s okay. Online trauma therapy is a great place to start if you don’t have much (or any) practice listening to the layer of yourself buried under your emotions.
What if I’m “too emotional”?
No one is “too emotional.” Emotions are a normal part of life, and everyone experiences them differently. Rather, it’s when your emotions begin to rule your life that there is a problem.
For example, if you start slamming doors every time you get angry, that’s an issue. If you take your emotions out on family and friends, it’s a problem. But crying at every sad scene in a movie or finding yourself choking up when someone you care about offers criticism isn’t bad.
It’s what you do with those emotions that matters.
Do you dry your eyes when the movie credits roll and move on? Do you thank the person offering feedback and do your best to look at their points critically? That’s healthy!
Everyone feels emotions differently and to different degrees. What might be “too emotional” for one person is simply a random Tuesday for another. The key is to find what works for you.
To attend therapy or to not attend therapy is a deeply personal choice. If you saw yourself in any of these points, it may be time to start looking for a therapist with whom you would feel comfortable. Starting online therapy doesn't mean you’re locked in for any amount of time, so don’t be afraid to meet with one and see how it makes you feel.
If you’d like to give it a go, CHE Behavioral Health Services provides mental health online services for a variety of conditions. Call us at 888-515-3834, email us at [email protected] or contact us on our contact page.
We can’t wait to help you along your healing journey!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
As a teen, Kaitlyn Pfiester began her writing journey in the fiction world, immersing herself in J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Once adulthood hit, the world of mental health opened her eyes to a hurting world. Over time (and months of continuing therapy), her passion shifted from baking Lembas bread and speaking elvish to learning more about trauma and how it affects everyday life. Now she is committed to bringing light to these struggles through her writing and can be found at https://www.kaitlynpfiester.co....