It can be challenging to know exactly when you should receive treatment from a therapist. Most people believe they should go to therapy after a traumatic event, but in many cases, therapists are a comforting resource to confide in no matter what you’re going through.
If you have just experienced trauma or are reliving past experiences, suffer from anxiety or depression, are grieving a loss, or work in a high-stress environment, it may be time to seek professional help.
Let’s take a closer look at the five signs that might indicate you should speak to a mental health expert:
1. You Don’t Feel Like Yourself
This could be a feeling of anxiety and depression, inability to concentrate, or aggression and anger. No matter the feeling, if you sense that something feels off, you’re probably not wrong. For some, these mood disturbances are chronic. People can go on for long periods managing them until something serves as a trigger. For others, these feelings may be new and unsettling if they haven’t adopted coping skills to help stabilize their emotions.
2. You’re Turning to Drugs and Alcohol
Drugs and alcohol are never the answer to coping with hard times. More often than not, they make anxiety, depression, and hopelessness worse. If you notice an increase in your drug or alcohol consumption, you should see this as a red flag to seek help before your addiction becomes more than you can handle.
3. You’re Grieving a Loss
Everyone deals with grief differently. There is no shame in feeling depressed following a death, divorce, or job termination. The grieving process is long and complicated for some, so talk therapy can be a huge help while going through it.
4. You’re Experiencing Trauma or Had Past Trauma
The trauma you went through earlier in your life that was never addressed will eventually catch up to you and can be just as difficult to deal with as your current trauma. Events like abuse, car accidents, chronic illness, and neglect should be discussed with a mental health expert. A therapist can give you professional guidance on how to navigate the healing process.
5. You’re Unable to Perform Daily Activities
Anytime you cannot perform your normal daily activities such as going to work, leaving the house, or meeting people to have fun, you should take it as a sign that something isn’t right. Sure, everyone has their moments of feeling down, but if emotions of despair continue longer than that, seek help sooner rather than later.
These are just a handful of reasons that it may be time to seek professional mental health services. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional if you’re experiencing any of these signs; therapists are there to help you recover and accomplish your personal goals.