When should you get therapy?get clarity
When should you get therapy?
Most people ask themselves this question at some point. The answer varies by person. As a therapist, my view is that prevention is always better. Everyone can benefit from therapy! The same way you get annual physicals at your medical doctors office. However, we often only seek help once we notice a problem. When it comes to therapy, the earlier you intervene, the better it is.
Does your mind constantly race and think about the worst case scenario? Do you often feel alone and have difficulties connecting with others? Do your emotions feel strong and overwhelming?
The American Psychological Association suggests you consider a time to see a therapist when something causes distress and interferes with some part of life, particularly when:
- Thinking about or coping with the issue takes up at least an hour each day
- The issue causes embarrassment or makes you want to avoid others
- The issue has caused your quality of life to decrease
- The issue has negatively affected school, work, or relationships
- You’ve made changes in your life or developed habits to cope with the issue
If you experience any of the following emotions or feelings to the extent that they interfere with life, therapy may help you reduce their effects. It’s especially important to consider it’s time to see a therapist if you feel controlled by symptoms or if they could cause harm to yourself or others.
Possible signs you need to see a therapist
- Overwhelmed. You might feel like you have too many things to do or too many issues to cope with. You might feel like you can’t rest or even breathe. Stress and being overwhelmed can lead to serious physical health concerns.
- Fatigue. This physical symptom often results from or accompanies mental health issues. It can indicate depression. Fatigue can cause you to sleep more than usual or have trouble getting out of bed in the morning.
- Disproportionate rage, anger, or resentment. Everyone feels anger at times. Even passing rage isn’t necessarily harmful. Seeking support to deal with these feelings may be a good idea when they don’t pass, are extreme compared to the situation, or if they lead you to take violent or potentially harmful actions.
- Anxious or intrusive thoughts. It’s normal to worry about things from time to time, but when worry takes up a significant part of your day or causes physical symptoms, therapy can help you deal with it.
- Apathy. Losing interest in usual activities, the world around you, or life in general can indicate mental health issues like depression or anxiety.
- Hopelessness. Losing hope or motivation, or feeling as if you have no future, can indicate depression or another mental health condition. Feeling hopeless from time to time, especially after a period of difficulty, isn’t uncommon. But when it persists, it may lead to thoughts of suicide.
- Social withdrawal. Many people feel better when they’re able to spend at least some time alone. Introverted people may need even more time alone than others. But if you feel distressed around others or fear being with other people, therapy can help you understand and deal with these feelings.
- Relationship issues. Whether it is escalating arguments with your partner, infidelity, or feeling disconnected from them, couples therapy can help you learn to communicate more effectively, rebuild trust, and regain that connection.