First off, we want to say it's always a good time for therapy, especially if you clicked on this article. It's our nature to seek the opinions and advice of others. We talk to our parents, friends, and complete strangers about what's going on in our lives. Why not a professional?
More than likely, you're reading this because you want to talk to someone. On the other hand, perhaps you're hesitating because of the antiquated social stigma surrounding therapy. Maybe you're contemplating if the cost is worth it. Then, it's possible, you've already decided to seek out help, but you're nervous or simply want to know more. All of these reasons are valid and indicate it's probably time to talk to someone so you can work through a problem one-on-one.
Indications That an Outside Opinion Could Benefit You
Take a quick informal self-assessment and ask yourself if you've frequently and recently felt any of the below. These are all signs you might need to speak with a therapist:
- Lack of enthusiasm about things you typically enjoy
- Inability to self-soothe
- Hard time regulating big emotions
- Social activities are unbearable
- You've developed some unhealthy vices
- You're eating more
- You're eating less
- You're sleeping more
- You're sleeping less
- Nightmares and waking night terrors
- Your relationships don't feel safe or respectful
- You feel unsafe
- Life feels meaningless
- Life feels overwhelming
- You're extremely happy for days, then crash
- You feel like you don't have a support system
Suppose you've already tried mindfulness practices like exercise, meditation, or spiritual practices but have found no relief for any of those as mentioned above. In that case, this is an even bigger reason to seek counseling.
Needing to Talk to Someone is Human
Almost everyone has something to say and must deal with big feelings. It's best to unpack big emotions with a professional who has no bias or stock in your decisions but to see you through safely. So when you're selecting therapists, make sure they have similar values to you, and you feel safe and heard.
Some people live with mental health conditions and see considerable improvements with consistent help from a therapist. For example, therapy is the backbone of treatment for those who experience anxiety, bipolar, depression, disordered eating, OCD, PTSD, phobias, or a substance use disorder. Those who reach for life can seek a quality life and chase their dreams.
If it's going to level you up, why should you be ashamed?
To get better, sometimes we have to ask for help, and that's okay. However, don't be afraid of being socially ostracized, coming across as needy, or perceived as incompetent. Most of the time, people will understand more than you thought they might. And sometimes, we lose people in the healing process; they weren't good for us anyway.
Regardless, this is your life, not someone else's. Sometimes we have to surrender control to receive critical guidance. More importantly, don't see your mental health as a burden but as an indication that there's healing work to be done, and once begun, an even stronger you will materialize.