5 signs It’s Time to See a Therapist
We all struggle with challenges in life. For better or worse struggles are natural parts of life. But sometimes our struggles are more than we can handle on our own. It may also be helpful to know that studies show if you seek help more quickly you tend to heal more quickly & see better results from counseling. If you’ve been thinking about working with a counselor or therapist here are a few signs it may be time to talk to a counselor.
- The challenge is causing distress in your life
It’s normal to experience challenges in life. Especially during times of transition or loss. But sometimes the way we have difficulty coping with these challenges. Symptoms of distress may include feelings of anxiety, depression or low self-confidence. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by these feelings or they seem to be lingering it may be time to talk to a counselor.
- You’ve exhausted friends & family
If you’re lucky enough to have supportive friends and family that’s wonderful! But sometimes when we’re struggling we can exhaust our friends and family. Your support system may not know how to help you or what to say. Or you may feel that you’re starting to overwhelm your support system. A professional counselor can build a warm and caring relationship with you but also give you an unbiased perspective and tools to cope with your challenges. Often our friends and family have the best of intentions but from a place of love they become wrapped up in their own anxiety or fear that we’re struggling. If you feel that your relationships are beginning to suffer under the strain of your life challenges a counselor can be a helpful addition to your support system.
- You’re getting feedback from others
This could be overt (such as friends suggesting you talk to a counselor). Or comments that friends or family are concerned about how anxious or sad you seem. If others are beginning to notice that you don’t seem yourself it could be a sign that your struggles are lingering or impacting your mood to a greater degree than you initially realized.
- You’ve used substances (or food, shopping, etc.) to cope
If you’re beginning to use substances such as alcohol or drugs to cope with feelings of loneliness, sadness, anxiety etc. Then it’s definitely a good idea to consider talking to a counselor. Or you may find yourself eating to cope with emotion (or not eating). These behaviors serve as a temporary distraction and help us feel good, or at least numb for a moment. Unfortunately though the feelings of numbness don’t last and when they do fade we’re left with the emotions we were trying to escape .
- You’ve tried everything else
Maybe you’ve tried exercise, medication or dietary changes but your challenges persist. If you feel you’ve tried to handle your challenges on your own but haven’t felt any relief it may be time to talk to a counselor. There is no shame in asking for help and seeking counseling does not mean you are weak or ill. A professional counselor can give you a safe space to talk about your challenges and work with you to build skills to cope with these challenges & see things in a different way.