According to National Alliance on Mental Health statistics, mental health conditions affect at least one out of every five Americans, but only 40% seek help. When left untreated, many psychological issues can lead to the inability to work or study, strenuous relationships, difficulty caring for children, increased physical health issues, and suicide (America’s second leading cause of death).
Several things involving your emotional health can affect your mental and physical well-being, and seeing a therapist for counseling can help you cope with the symptoms. However, it isn’t easy for most people to accept that they need professional help to deal with the psychological issues that can affect their well-being.
Signs That You Need Therapy
When people watch their loved ones dealing with emotional challenges, they often aren’t sure how to approach the subject of therapy. As a result, people often aggressively bring up the treatment issue, but this usually does not get the desired effect since this tactic creates resistance.
Since therapy can help you improve your daily life and function by teaching you to understand and deal with your feelings, getting supportive encouragement from those around you is often the best way for them to help you accept that you need to change. Supportive encouragement includes offers to help you find the right therapy options or therapist – it does not include stigmatization.
Remember: Therapy provides a safe place to talk about any life challenges, including couples counseling, grief, family issues, and even coping with the impact of COVID.
Watch out for these signs that may help you accept that a therapist can help prevent you from causing harm to others or yourself:
- You feel overcome to the point where you can’t breathe or rest because you have too much going on physically or mentally.
- Constant fatigue often accompanies mental health issues, especially depression. The signs include sleeping longer than usual or struggling to get up in the morning.
- You have lingering rage, anger, or resentment that is disproportionate. These emotions are usual, but they should pass quickly. However, if you feel that you could turn violent or that the behavior is extreme, you need support to help you with your feelings.
- If you have agoraphobia, which leads to panic attacks, the fear of being trapped when out, or if you never leave home, you need help.
- Anxious or invasive thoughts that lead to you worrying for a significant portion of the day are unhealthy and often lead to physical symptoms. Accept that therapy can effectively help you deal with these.
- Apathy or losing interest in everyday activities and everything around you often indicates depression or anxiety.
- Persistent hopelessness and the loss of motivation can also indicate depression or another mental health condition. If thoughts of suicide accompany this, immediately call a suicide helpline and consider a therapist after the crisis passes.
- Social withdrawal or isolation is acceptable if it happens occasionally, but when it is constant, you need to find out why and how to deal with your feelings.
When to Know It’s Time to Consider a Therapist
Sometimes, accepting that you need to see a therapist and being truthful about your issues requires much thought and consideration. But, unfortunately, people often feel they aren’t ready or prefer to see if time or support from their family and friends can help to improve their feelings.
However, the American Psychological Association proposes that some signs should trigger your acceptance that the distress or disruptions require professional help to safeguard your well-being. Look out for these signs:
- When an issue takes up more than an hour of your thoughts daily.
- When the problem causes you embarrassment or you avoid others.
- When your quality of life decreases because of your issue.
- Your troubles affect your performance at school, work, or your relationships.
- Another sign is when you change things drastically in your life or develop habits like substance or sex abuse to help you cope with the issue,
Understand the Benefits of Therapy
Therapy requires several sacrifices and is quite expensive. However, health insurance often covers the cost. In addition, discussing the trauma, painful events, or other issues with others is challenging. Finally, healing requires honesty, both with your therapist and yourself.
When you can accept all these facts and take the plunge to seek help, you will find that therapy is also enriching. A qualified therapist provides a safe and judgment-free space where you can have your say and be heard. Besides listening to you during your sessions, the therapist can help you learn more about who you are, guide you when you feel lost, and empower you to fight your way toward your goals with realistic steps.
Moreover, the better your mental well-being, your physical health also improves. Since therapy can improve all areas of your life, don’t let your issues prevent you from becoming a better version of yourself. By discovering your better self, you improve every area of your life, including your relationships and well-being.
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