Throughout our lifetimes, we will invariably encounter times and situations when we will need help addressing problems and issues that cause us emotional distress or make us feel overwhelmed. When you are experiencing these types of life difficulties, you may benefit from the assistance of an experienced, trained professional therapist. A counselor can help you identify problems and assist you finding the best ways to cope with your situation by changing behaviors that contribute to the problem or by finding constructive ways to deal with a situation that is beyond your personal control. Professional counselors offer help in addressing many situations that cause emotional stress. Here are 6 signs you need to see a therapist.
- You’ve suffered a trauma and can’t stop thinking about it
Job loss, relationship breakup or the death of a close friend or family member can be stressful enough for you to seek out counseling. Even though we think that our feelings will return to normal on their own, this isn’t always true. Some people react by withdrawing from life. Grief coming from a loss can impact our lives, impairing daily functioning and possibly causing you to withdraw from friends and activities you enjoy. Some people react by becoming manic, engaging too much with friends and acquaintances and finding that they can’t sleep. If you are experiencing either of these reactions, it’s a sign you need to see a therapist.
- You’re feeling sad, angry or otherwise “not yourself.”
Out of control sadness, frequent anger or hopelessness could in fact be an indication of an emotional and mental health issue that can improve with counseling. If you’re eating and/or sleeping more or less than usual, withdrawing from friends and family, or simply feeling “off,” speak with someone before serious issues develop that impact the quality of your life. Should these types of feelings intensify to the point that you question if your life is worth living or if you have thoughts of death or suicide, reach out for assistance immediately.
- You’re abusing substances like food, alcohol, drugs or using sex to cope
Should you turn outside yourself to a substance and/or behavior to enable you to feel better, your coping skills could use a little adjustment. If you are not able to regulate these types of behaviors or perhaps you can’t quit regardless of negative consequences that you experience, you could be dealing with addictive or compulsive behavior that calls for treatment.
- You feel disconnected from activities you used to enjoy
If your activities, time spent with your friends or your family gatherings have lost their previous joyfulness, it might be a sign that something is amiss. If you’re feeling disillusioned, like there’s not a lot of purpose or a point or just feeling a general sense of unhappiness, talking to a therapist could help you regain some clarity or start your life in a new direction.
- Your relationships are strained
Are you having trouble communicating how you really feel — or even being able to identify it in the moment? If you find yourself feeling unhappy during interactions with your loved ones on a regular basis, you could be a good candidate for couples or family therapy.
- Your friends are concerned about you
Quite often family and friends are able to identify patterns and behaviors that are difficult to observe from our internal perspective, as a result it’s worth taking into consideration the perspectives of those closest to you. If someone in your life has stated something to you along the lines of: ‘Are you talking to anybody about this ?’ or ‘Are you doing okay? I’m worried about you’ — those questions are good signs you need to see a therapist.
Everyone alive goes through tough times and situations that impact their feelings of well being. Some handle the adversity quickly whereas some people get caught in a web of overwhelming despair. For people caught in this web, seeking the advice of a counselor or therapist can help get you back on the road to taking command back of your life.