Mental health is such an important issue, but we don’t seem to care about it the way we care about our physical health. We tend to forget that our bad mental state directly causes many physical illnesses. And even though it’s completely normal to go to the doctor’s office when we feel physical pain, going to a psychotherapist is still somewhat of a taboo. And it shouldn’t be.
It’s important to choose the right professional to help you. According to the ClearMinds Center experts, the therapist’s focus needs to be on “helping the person resolve, rather than put a Band-Aid on their symptoms.”
So, how to know if you need therapy? Well, If you have any of these seven symptoms, you could probably use a nice, long talk with a psychotherapist:
1. Difficulties with regulating emotions.
While it’s perfectly normal to feel sad, angry, or anxious at some point in our lives, we should pay attention to how often it occurs, and how intensively we feel that way. If someone continually feels sad, empty, and disinterested in everything, it may be a symptom of clinical depression. Interestingly, anger is often a sign of depression, especially in men, where it’s often mistaken for aggression.
2. Bad work and school performance.
Mental health problems can harm attention span, memory, concentration, energy and provoke apathy, which reduces the desire and natural urge to produce good results at work or school. This can even put you and the people around you if you work in dangerous conditions.
3. Changes or disruptions in sleep or appetite.
Mental health problems can have a significant impact on our sleep and appetite. Anxious people may have problems falling asleep, and depressed people might sleep all the time. Some people overeat to numb their emotions, while others can barely eat. No need to mention that sleep and eating disorders can cause serious physical illnesses. Any significant change in eating and sleeping habits should be attended to.
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4. Difficulties in building and maintaining relationships.
If you pull back when people get close to you, can’t form a healthy personal or business relationship, can’t work in teams, then it’s best to consult a therapist. Skilled professionals can teach you social skills and improve your life. If a more serious matter is behind your social interaction problems, they can discover it and work with you on the solution.
5. You’ve suffered trauma.
People who suffer trauma often deny that they are hurting and don’t try to get back to everyday lives without dedicating time to deal with it. No matter if it is a divorce, sickness, abuse, you have to talk to someone about it. Keeping it inside and denying it has affected you is the worst way to deal with trauma.
6. You no longer enjoy activities you typically did.
People grappling with psychological or emotional problems often feel detached or alienated from life. They lose interest in things they used to enjoy. This is often a sign of depression, even though they don’t realize they are depressed. It should be dealt with before the next symptoms appear. Some of them are increased isolation, apathy, and even wishing that they weren’t alive.
7. You are grieving.
Loss of a loved one, divorce, significant breakup – they are very painful and can overwhelm us with feelings we sometimes can’t handle. In case you feel that it’s more than you can manage, consult a professional.
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8. Your physical health started to deteriorate.
As we said before, stress and emotional issues can affect health. Suppose you suffer from headaches, muscle aches, pains, fatigue, weak immune system, greater cardiovascular reactivity, or chronic inflammation for a longer period, without any physical reason. In that case, it’s best to consult a therapist to determine if these health issues are connected to your mental state.
9. You’re using sex or substance to cope with your problems.
When we are under mental or emotional stress, we tend to do things that are numbing, rewarding, distracting, and even destructive to cope with the problems. Substances and sex are some of the most often used coping mechanisms. These are only short-term solutions and can’t replace a good talk and therapy.
10. You want to improve yourself.
If you want to improve yourself but don’t know where to start, therapy can help you identify things you need to work on and show you how you can improve them. It can also help you better understand the people around you and the way they see you.
We should all take good care of our mental health, and if we feel we can’t cope with the challenges that life brings on, it’s best to speak to a professional. Otherwise, we are risking getting caught in a limbo of knowing that something is wrong but not being able to do anything about it.