Thanks to enlightenment in this day and age, counseling or psychotherapy have lost the negative belief of only being for ‘crazy’ people. Yet, people still believe that you have to feel terrible, or your life has to be in shambles before seeing a counselor.
Even if we think we need help, too many of us spend considerable time thinking about seeing a counselor before deciding to do so. We are skeptical, wondering if it is ‘right’ for us, especially if our challenges are different from those of people we know who have tried it. Hence, we miss out on help we could badly use, and whatever issues we have a drag out for far longer than they should.
So When is it Time to Seek The Help of a Counselor?
It may take some deliberation before you decide there’s really a need for therapy. You might want to wait and see if your struggles are improved with time, change in lifestyle, or the support of friends and family.
It was suggested by the American Psychological Association that one should consider counseling when something upsets and interferes with some part of life, especially when:
- You feel sad and angry all the time.
- You feel apathy towards everything, including those things you used to enjoy.
- You lost a loved one, either because of death or to a break up of a relationship.
- You are addicted to drugs, alcohol, food, sex, or any other form of addiction.
- You had something important to you, whether a job or money or children, taken away.
- You have been abused either physically, mentally, or emotionally.
- You have experienced a major trauma like an accident, personal attack, or natural disaster.
- You are suffering a personality disorder.
If none of the above apply to you, don’t rule out therapy just yet. Not all reasons to seek a counselor or therapist are so clear cut. Some other important reasons why it’s time for counseling include:
When you feel like you have too many things to do or too many issues to cope with at once. You feel overwhelmed and stressed out all the time. This could lead to serious physical health concerns.
When you feel fatigued. This excessive tiredness often results from or is associated with mental health issues. It could also be a sign of depression.
When you experience fear being in places where you might experience panic attacks or become trapped. Some people may become scared to leave their houses.
When you experience anxiousness or intrusive thoughts. Worry is normal from time to time, but when it takes up a substantial part of your day or causes physical symptoms, then you need therapy to help you deal with it.
When you feel a sense of hopelessness, lack of motivation, or feeling as if you have no future, which indicates depression or another mental health condition. Feeling hopeless from time to time, especially after a tough period in your life, isn’t uncommon. But when the feeling remains, it may lead to thoughts of suicide.
When you feel the need to withdraw from people or gatherings out of fear, it is necessary to spend at least some time alone from time to time. Some people, like the introverts, may need even more time alone than others. But if you feel distressed being with other people, therapy can help you understand and cope with these feelings.
Sometimes therapy doesn’t help right away. Even in an ideal therapy situation, it can take time for symptoms to improve. However, going to therapy would help in a change of perspective about your situation, and time and patience are needed for effective recovery.