Embracing Mental Wellness — The 10 Indications You Need to See a Therapist
In the vast tapestry of human existence, we all face a multitude of challenges, triumphs, and everything in between. Life's journey is a remarkable blend of joy, sorrow, and the complexities of navigating our own thoughts and emotions. Yet, sometimes we find ourselves at a crossroads, unsure of how to unravel the tangle within our minds and hearts.
Mental health is an essential aspect of our overall well-being, and acknowledging when we need professional support is an act of self-compassion. This article aims to shed light on ten vital signs that may indicate it's time to consider therapy as a path towards personal growth and emotional balance.
From persistent feelings of sadness or anxiety to experiencing relationship difficulties or grappling with addictive behaviours, recognising these signs can empower us to take charge of our mental health. By embracing the courage to seek therapeutic assistance, we embark on a profound journey of self-exploration and inner healing.
What is psychotherapy?
The word therapy can be daunting to most people, but contrary to popular belief, psychotherapy isn’t limited to those suffering from anxiety or depression. Anyone who wants to improve their life but is under stress or going through a difficult time in their life or feeling strong emotions may find it helpful.You can express your feelings, explore your options, and gain the skills necessary to deal with a variety of life difficulties in a secure, judgment-free environment through psychotherapy or talk therapy.
Psychotherapy comes in different forms, four to be specific, including cognitive analytical therapy (emphasises investigating one's past behaviour and belief, negative behavioural patterns and helps them make better choices in the future), interpersonal psychotherapy (focuses on improving interpersonal relationships and social functions), psychoanalytic psychotherapy (employed to treat depression, PTSD, and other psychological disorders), and systemic psychotherapy(analyses interactions between biological, psychological, and social factors to help people make better decisions in the future) and humanistic therapy (centres on strengthening one's feeling of self and achieving one's potential).
Another form of talk therapy that has undergone rigorous testing and been shown to be beneficial across a broad spectrum of conditions is Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). To increase general pleasure and functioning, CBT places an emphasis on making adjustments in one's life (be they in behaviour, thoughts, etc.). It makes you more conscious of your behavioural patterns and enables you to make the required adjustments to handle different life situations more skillfully.
Should you see a therapist?
Keep in mind that seeking help is not a sign of weakness but rather a crucial step on the road to self-care. You can get back on track more quickly the earlier you seek assistance.
These are the top ten indicators that you should seek professional assistance, according to mental health professionals:
- You're having trouble controlling your emotions. Even while everyone experiences sadness, anxiety, or anger at some point in their lives, it's crucial to be aware of how frequently or strongly you experience any of these feelings. Anger frequently appears as part of a depressed episode. In fact, because men's irritability or short-temperedness is mistakenly seen as a masculine trait, melancholy in males is frequently overlooked. Uncontrolled rage can be a sign of depression as well as unfavourable thoughts about oneself or the world, frustration, or an improperly managed stress response. In a similar vein, persistently feeling down, empty, and uninterested in anything could be an indication of clinical depression. This is distinct from a depressed mood, which everyone experiences occasionally. Meanwhile, children frequently exhibit impatience, rage, or animosity towards others rather than greater melancholy. You or your child can learn to better manage emotions through therapy. It provides an open, unbiased, and private setting where one can examine uneasy emotions, comprehend their underlying origins, contextualise them, and develop coping mechanisms to deal with them. It's also a safe place where you are free to be true to yourself and discuss important issues that call for the help of a professional, such as trauma or high-risk behaviours (e.g., drug use, suicidal behaviour, etc.).
- You're not working as hard at work or at school. One of the symptoms of psychological or emotional problems is a decline in performance at work or school. Mental health problems can affect one's ability to pay attention, concentrate, remember things, have energy, and be energetic. They can also cause apathy, which can make it difficult to enjoy or even want to go to work. It could cause a lack of interest and mistakes at work, which would lower production. Even more so, it could endanger you or others. By actively solving problems and practising relaxation techniques, a therapist can help you learn how to successfully self-regulate your behaviour and develop more adaptive coping mechanisms for stress.
- Your sleep or appetite have changed or are disrupted. Sleep and hunger are two areas where mental health problems can significantly affect us. While someone who is profoundly sad may sleep constantly, someone who is nervous or manic may have trouble falling asleep. Similar to how some people overeat to numb their feelings when under stress, others find they can barely eat. Therefore, it may be time to take a step back and carefully evaluate the issue if you realise that you have been eating or sleeping either less or more than usual for an extended length of time.
- You find it difficult to establish and sustain relationships. Relationships can suffer from the effects of our mental health in a number of ways, including when we withdraw from those who are important to us, when we feel insecure in a partnership, or when we substantially rely on another person for emotional support. For those who are struggling with psychological or emotional issues, making friends at work or school, joining teams, and effectively communicating with superiors, coworkers, and subordinates may also be difficult. Any of these conditions can be detrimental to relationships, whether they are new or established. If you frequently argue with others or find it difficult to communicate your emotions to them, therapy may be helpful. You can learn better social skills from a qualified therapist, such as courteous assertiveness, keeping to the 'I' language rather than the 'you' language, fair fighting, etc.
- You've gone through trauma. Talk therapy can also be of great assistance and an outlet to those who have experienced past physical or sexual abuse or other trauma from which they have yet to recover from. In a private, judgment-free setting, psychotherapy enables a person to discuss these traumatic events with a professional who is adept at listening to about these concerns. Additionally, the client is not concerned with 'protecting' the therapist from learning about these experiences. A therapist can also guide the patient to acquiring abilities for overcoming associations and the hold that the trauma has over them as well as new ways of thinking about the terrible incident.
- You no longer find enjoyment in your usual pursuits. People suffering from psychological or emotional problems frequently experience a sense of alienation or disconnection from life. As a result, individuals stop enjoying pursuits they once enjoyed, such as hobbies or socialising. The primary causes of enduring boredom and a sense of inner emptiness are sadness, grief, or persistent childhood maltreatment and/or neglect. Increased loneliness, passivity towards the future, and even the desire to end one's life are other indicators that someone may be suffering from depression or another type of mood disorder. The good news is that counselling can assist a person experiencing depression or issues with emotion dysregulation. Through therapy, you’re able to identify your obstacles, eliminate destructive attitudes and behaviours, along with rediscovering joy.
- You're grieving. Overcoming grief could be a difficult and painful process, especially if you have no one to share your emotional weight with, whether it be due to a divorce, a serious breakup, or the loss of a loved one. For individuals who suffer large losses in a short period of time, the ordeal is twice as terrible. Therapy or grief counselling can assist someone who is grieving by providing a secure, supportive environment to process the loss and all the distressing emotions that go along with it.
- Your physical well-being has suffered. We don't pay as much attention to mental health as we do to physical health, which is a grave error considering how interwoven the two are. Stress, anxiety, and depression are examples of mental health conditions that have direct and indirect effects on our physical health. Direct effects result from the central nervous system's impact on psychological conditions, which in turn affect all other bodily systems (endocrine, immune, cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, etc.). They are indirectly linked to a wide range of physical health issues, such as chronic inflammation, headaches, weariness, aches and pains in the muscles, increased cardiovascular reactivity, and poorer immune systems.
- You want to get better, but you're not sure where to start. You can improve your relationships with others and with yourself by seeking therapy. You may be able to better understand and decipher complex interpersonal situations with its assistance. A knowledgeable therapist may assist you in comprehending your role in a scenario and what you can change to achieve a better result. She can also assist you in understanding other people's perspectives so that you are more conscious of how your actions affect other people. You can communicate with others more effectively if you are aware of how your actions affect other people and how they are affected by your actions. A skilled therapist may also identify a person's negative patterns in order to start more positive ones because she is a pattern-seeker.
- You are turning to drugs or sex to cope. We typically turn to substance use and sex as coping mechanisms because these activities are rewarding, numbing, distracting, or harmful when we are experiencing mental or emotional stress. Substance abuse can momentarily ease unpleasant emotions including helplessness, worry, irritation, and negative thoughts. But over time, it makes these problems worse and frequently results in misuse or dependence. Additionally, substance abuse hinders the ability to manage mental health conditions. This is why it's so important to get professional help as soon as you can if you or a loved one is battling with addiction. Although constant support should be at hand, a friend or relative cannot serve as a person's personal treatment facility. The individual themself need to be okay with getting treatments. It's also crucial to remember that coercing someone into treatment frequently fails, whereas inspiring someone to want to improve is typically more successful. Never make them feel guilty or shamed; instead, encourage them to talk about it. Organise a meeting and accompany them if it will help.