Is it Time to See A Therapist? Probably!
It’s time to see a therapist. Psychotherapy, talk or talking therapy, counseling, or simply therapy — no matter the name it’s known by, mental health counseling can benefit people struggling with emotional difficulties, life challenges, and mental health concerns.
Many mental health conditions can be helped by therapy. Therapy can help people learn to manage symptoms that may not respond immediately to medication. Research has shown that therapy is more effective than medication. While medication can help with some symptoms of mental disorders, therapy can teach people how to manage many other symptoms. These skills can be used for many years, and symptoms may improve even after therapy ends.
How common are mental health issues?
Mental health problems are common. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, 1 in 5 Americans has a mental disorder. 1 in 20 adults suffer from a serious mental condition every year. A mental disorder affects 1 in 6 U.S. teenagers between the ages of 6 and 17.
Only 40% of people suffering from mental health problems get help. Untreated mental illness can often lead to more severe and potentially fatal consequences. They could also lead:
- Inability to work/go to school
- Relationship problems or difficulties caring for children
- Increased risk for health issues
Suicide is the second most common cause of death in the United States for people between the ages 11 and 34. A majority of suicide victims in America were suffering from a mental health condition.
Anyone contemplating suicide should immediately seek help by calling a suicide helpline via phone, text, or chat. You might be encouraged to call your local emergency room. Once you are stable, a therapist will be able to support you.
Do I “Need” Therapy?
Although it can be difficult to see a loved one struggle with mental health issues, telling them they should seek therapy or that they are in need of therapy can be threatening or stigmatizing.
It is a great way to show support by encouraging someone you care about, to look into therapy options, and even to review potential therapists together. People who feel forced to go to therapy may be resistant to change and find it difficult to do the work required.
Therapy may be recommended if you have any kind of mental health issue that affects your daily life or function. Therapy can help you learn about what you’re feeling, why you might be feeling it, and how to cope.
Therapy also offers a safe place to talk through life challenges such as breakups, grief, parenting difficulties, COVID impacts, or family struggles. Couples counseling can help you and/or your partner to work through problems in your relationship and learn new ways of communicating with each other. It is not couples counseling that is recommended for abusive relationships.
You might find the GoodTherapy registry helpful. There are thousands upon thousands of therapists who are available to help you on your journey. Find the support that you need today!
What are the Best Times to Consider Therapy?
It may take some consideration before you decide you’re ready for therapy. You might want to wait and see if time, lifestyle changes, or the support of friends and family improves whatever you’re struggling with.
The American Psychological Association recommends that you see a therapist if something is causing distress or interfering with your life, especially when:
- It takes at least an hour per day to think about the issue or deal with it.
- The issue can cause embarrassment, or make you want to avoid other people.
- Your quality of life has been affected by the issue
- The issue has had negative effects on school, work, or personal relationships.
- You’ve made changes in your life or developed habits to cope with the issue
Therapy may be able to help you reduce the impact of any of these emotions or feelings on your life. 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.
Signs you should see a therapist
- Overwhelmed.You might feel overwhelmed or overwhelmed by all the tasks and issues you have to face. You might feel like you can’t rest or even breathe. Stress and being overwhelmed could lead to serious health issues.
- Fatigue.This is often a sign of mental health issues. It can also be a sign that you are suffering from depression. Fatigue can lead to sleepiness or difficulty getting out of bed each morning.
- Disproportionate anger, rage, 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.
- Agoraphobia.People with agoraphobia worry about being in places where panic attacks might occur or becoming trapped. Some people may not be able to leave their home.
- Anxious thoughts 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.Depression or anxiety can be caused by a loss of interest in your normal activities, the world around, or in life in general.
- Hopelessness.Depression or another mental illness can lead to a loss of hope or motivation or a feeling that there is no future. Feeling hopeless from time to time, especially after a period of difficulty, isn’t uncommon. If it continues, it can lead to thoughts of suicide.
- Social withdrawal Many people feel better when they’re able to spend at least some time alone. Introverts may require more time alone than others. Therapy can help you to understand and deal with your feelings of distress or fear around other people.
What If I’ve Already Tried Therapy and It Didn’t Work?
Sometimes therapy doesn’t “work” right away. Even in the best therapy environment, it can take some time for symptoms to improve. – months or years. Frustration can result from not seeing any change after going to therapy. Perhaps you haven’t found the right therapist, so it’s worth it to continue your search for help. If you’re still experiencing any of the symptoms above, therapy should still be an option. Don’t stop your quest to improve your mental health.
It can help to look for a therapist who treats what you’re experiencing. If you don’t have a diagnosis, you can talk to potential therapists about your symptoms. Most therapists will let you know if they’re able to treat your concern. If they can’t, they may be able to recommend someone who can.
You should remember that different approaches might be better for different issues. If you didn’t feel heard in your previous therapy, or if your symptoms have changed since your last therapy session, a different therapist might be exactly what you to move forward.
What are the benefits of seeking therapy?
If you’re considering therapy, you may be thinking about the possible drawbacks. You might be concerned about the cost. You might also know that therapy can be difficult. It can be difficult to talk about trauma or other painful past events with someone you care about. Working through challenges isn’t easy, and therapy isn’t always a quick fix. Make sure that when you’re ready to see a therapist that you can be honest with yourself and with your them.
But if you’re willing to do the work, therapy can be rewarding. It’s a safe, judgment-free space where you can share anything, with a trained professional who is there to help.
Here are some benefits of therapy:
- You’ll learn more about yourself.Therapists listen to you and help you find connections. If you feel lost or confused, they may offer guidance or make recommendations. Therapy can help you to take control of your life.
- Therapy can help with your goals. If you aren’t sure of what your goals are, therapy can help you clarify them and set realistic steps to meet them.
- Therapy can help you to have more fulfilling relationships. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, therapy can help you address difficulties relating to others, such as insecurity in relationships or difficulty trusting your partners.
- You’re more likely to have better health.Research supports the link between mind health and body well-being. Untreated mental health issues can have a negative impact on physical wellness. People in good mental health may be better equipped to handle any physical health issues that may arise.
- Therapy can help you improve all aspects of your life.Therapy can help you to address any issues that are preventing you from living your life the way you want. When you aren’t sure what’s keeping you from making change, therapy can help you discover the answer.
Even if you aren’t sure you want to commit to therapy, many therapists offer a free first session or phone consultation to talk through what you’re dealing with. They might recommend that you seek help based on your symptoms. Start your Find a therapist today!
GoodTherapy Recovery Treatment Centers offer additional options for those who believe they may need help to beat addiction.
[Original article submitted by Crystal Raypol]
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