Mental health counseling can help you cope with several conditions when you struggle with your mental well-being. However, you should not only seek therapy for mental health issues, but you should also seek help if you have emotional difficulties or other life challenges.
The adverse effects of untreated mental health issues include the inability to cope with work and school, difficulty managing family commitments, increased health problems, and suicide. Unfortunately, recent figures released by the National Alliance on Mental Health show that only 40% of people get help for these issues.
Signs That You Need Therapy
The various approaches to therapy include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectic behavioral therapy (DBT), interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), etc., each one catering to the unique needs of their patients. Read on to find out which seven unmistakable signs indicate you need a therapist to help you cope with emotional or mental challenges:
1. You Struggle With Containing Your Emotions
It is usual for everyone sometimes to feel angry, anxious, or sad, but if your emotions are intense, it may indicate depression. According to Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a licensed clinical psychologist from California, “Anger is often a part of a depressive presentation.”
Depression often remains undiagnosed in men because people consider irritability and short-temperateness traits of their gender.
Additionally, when a person constantly feels empty, sad, or disinterested, they may suffer clinical depression, a more severe condition than a passing depressed mood. Children often struggle to manage emotions like sadness, revealing it by turning to hostility, anger, or irritability.
Therapy provides a confidential space where people can explore their feelings and their root cause, teaching them how to cope and overcome them by placing these in the proper context.
2. You Can’t Cope With Work or School
Performance issues at work or school also indicate that you may have psychological or emotional problems, impairing your attention, concentration, energy, and memory. If you lack interest or make many errors that impede your productivity, you or others may suffer from the consequences. Therapy can help you learn better stress management through relaxation strategies and proper problem-solving techniques.
3. Your Inability to Cope Changes Your Habits
Often, mental health issues can affect your sleep and eating patterns. These range from sleeplessness to insomnia or overeating to barely eating. For instance, severe depression increases the need for sleep, and overwhelming stress can lead to extreme appetite increases or food deprivation. People also turn to substance abuse or sex when they have emotional or mental stress to help them cope.
All of the above create distracting, destructive, numbing, or rewarding feelings that help alleviate unwanted feelings, negative thoughts, irritability, and anxiety. But unfortunately, the release is only temporary, creating a vicious cycle. So, therapy is the best way to learn how to cope.
Similarly, people struggling with addiction need to seek treatment, which usually requires some motivation from family or friends because forcing them into therapy rarely helps.
4. You Struggle With Friendships or Withdraw Socially
If you want to spend more time alone than usual and feel distressed when you need to be around others, therapy can help you explore the reasons. Similarly, pulling back from others or leaning too much on someone for emotional support indicates the need for treatment. Don’t forget that it is normal to want to spend some time alone or to speak to a friend about an issue, but excessive fear of being with others, working in a team, or communicating should worry you.
5. You Have Experienced Something Traumatic
Trauma from physical or sexual abuse requires more than just time to heal. Talk therapy allows you to speak about these experiences in a confidential space to an experienced person who can help you learn how to work through the negative associations of the traumatic experience.
6. You Feel Apathetic
When you no longer enjoy your usual activities and have no interest in the things happening around you, know that this typically indicates a psychological or emotional issue. According to therapists, apathy stems from several issues, including childhood abuse or neglect, depression, or grief. Therapy can help you discover what deeper issues create the problem and the correct way to rediscover the things that please you.
7. You Are Grieving
Several things can cause grieving, including a breakup, divorce, or losing a loved one. Overcoming grief requires a lengthy and painful process unless you have someone to share the pain. Sometimes people experience more than one ordeal over a short period, making it even more challenging to overcome these significant losses. Dr. Durvasula says, “Therapy or grief counseling helps provide a safe, compassionate place to progress all the distressing emotions.”
If you remain hesitant about the benefits of therapy, you should know that it can help you work through issues that affect your mental well-being in a judgment-free space. Besides learning how to cope, you discover more about yourself as you work toward achieving your goals until you finally reap the rewards.