Feeling out of sorts? Dealing with the loss of a loved one? Gone through a traumatic experience? Do these life events warrant seeing a psychologist? And how does a person know that they need help?
If you are in a situation in your life where you are wondering if you could benefit from going to therapy, chances are high you will benefit. Want a little more than a gut feeling? Here are 5 signs that you may want to consider receiving some mental health care.
You feel numb, isolated, or depressed all the time.
According to Piper Walsh, PhD, an Orange County psychologist, “The type of depression that needs to be addressed with a serious and definite strategy is a mood disorder with pervasive symptoms which are present over an extended period of time.”
Depression is an illness with symptoms that can be pervasive and drain one’s quality of life. It can be difficult for those in a depressed state to seek help because depression comes with a sense of hopelessness. It is vital to seek help if you or someone you love is suffering from this disorder.
You rely on food, alcohol, or other substances to cope.
It’s normal to reach for a glass of wine at the end of a long day and seek relief. But an over reliance on any one source of comfort can cause a dependency that can lead to health problems. Dealing with the emotions of the day, stress, anger, tiredness, frustration, can be taxing. And it is common for people to turn to outside sources to drown out or numb uncomfortable feelings. Instead of doing the hard work of working through why they are feeling a certain way.
If you suspect you have an alcohol use disorder, or are reliant on a food or a substance to get you through the day or week, you could benefit from therapy.
You avoid all conflict.
Have you structured your life so that you never have to meet or talk with people who rub you the wrong way, or situations where you feel out of control? Perhaps you are introverted and hate going to social functions? Or maybe you never learned how to ask for what you need in relationships, so you continually feel that people take advantage of you?
If you have avoidant personality disorder, you should know that avoiding conflict as a life style will eventually fail. At some point in time, difficult situations will arise that will require you to show yourself. How to deal with such situations is a skill that you can acquire through help.
Your relationships feel stifling or demanding.
Do you frequently feel misunderstood? That others are misunderstanding your intentions? Or that you cannot understand the intentions of others? Do all your relationships seem to be unsatisfying, or sources of stress in your life? If you answered yes, to one or more of these questions, you could benefit from an outside perspective.
Counseling can provide you with communication tips that will ease relationship tensions. It can help you understand where your expectations could be harming key relationships. And it can help heal past hurts and show you a way forward.
You’ve been through a traumatic situation.
Experiencing loss can be devastating. Whether the loss is that of a person, a beloved family pet, a relationship, or a job. Loss comes with a measure of grief. And if brushed aside can cause wounds that are left to fester instead of heal.
Loss is not the only form of trauma. Accidents, life-threatening situations, and abuse are all sources of trauma and need recovery and care. Even natural disasters can cause emotional trauma. CNN recently reported on the emotional trauma that disasters like Hurricane Harvey could cause on children. If left untreated, mental or emotional trauma can manifest itself in hurting one’s physical health. The best way forward after experiencing a trauma is through seeking professional help.
As you answer these questions, remind yourself that there is hope for recovery from the symptoms you are experiencing. The World Health Organization reports that mental disorders are present in one out of every four people. And within that sector, two thirds of those who need treatment never seek it out. Often, the stigma of seeking help from a mental health professional holds people back from getting professional care. Don’t let the opinions of others hinder you. Your mental and emotional happiness and stability is worth your investment of energy, money, and time.