In 2018 approximately 25 percent of adults under 50 in the United States suffered from some form of mental illness. However, mental health therapy is still considered taboo in some cultural circles. There is an overwhelming expectation to “buck up” and handle problems on your own. In some cases, you might turn to friends and family to talk through events that have taken a toll on your mental health.
But what happens when getting through it by yourself or with the help of friends and family is not enough? Even within a culture that expects you to get yourself through tough situations, there are times when it would be wise to see a therapist.
Are You Feeling Overwhelmed?
Stress is a normal part of life. At some point in your life, you may get worked up about something. Work, money, friends, family, school, and more are all things that can add stress to your life.
While it is normal to experience moderate stress at times, prolonged exposure to stress can lead to detrimental effects on both your mental and physical health. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the stress in your life to a point that it is consuming your thoughts and impacting your daily life, it might be time to see a therapist.
Are You Relying on Dangerous Coping Strategies?
Everyone has setbacks in life–a bad test score, a layoff from work, or even the death of a loved one. While those events will definitely have a negative impact on you, the length and severity of that impact will depend on how you cope with them.
If you are someone who can assess the situation, make a plan to overcome the setback, and then carry through with your plan that’s great! Or perhaps you are someone who keeps a regular journal to work through your negative feelings and stressful events.
Many people, unfortunately, do not have the necessary coping skills to deal with the stress and setbacks of life. Some may lash out at others; some may turn to alcohol or drugs in an attempt to lessen the pain, and others may simply withdraw into a funk or extended bout of depression.
If you have recently turned to substance abuse or have physically or emotionally hurt yourself or others as a way to deal with stress or a traumatic event, then it is time to seek the help of a mental health professional.
A good therapist will help you develop strategies to deal with the stress and setbacks of life in a more healthy way. You can then work on improving the relationships with your friends and family.
Are You Having Trouble Managing Your Emotions?
Just like stress, experiencing strong emotions is a normal and healthy part of life. Feeling sad, happy, angry, or anxious are all emotions that are part of being a human.
It is okay to feel sad about a death or breakup, mad about not getting that big promotion at work or anxious when you are about to have a new baby or start a new chapter of your life. However, just like stress, experiencing these types of emotions to the point that they start to impact the way you see yourself and interact with the world around you can indicate a more serious mental health issue.
You should not have to feel anxious, mad, or sad all of the time, and a therapist can help you work through the underlying issues that are severely affecting your mood. A therapist can also refer you to a psychiatrist if he or she determines that a prescription medicine might be needed to regulate your emotions.
Have You Reached Your Limit?
Everyone has a different tolerance for stress, coping with negative events, and managing their emotions. Some people seem to take everything in stride and have amazing resilience, while others fall apart at the slightest setback.
You know yourself better than anybody else does, and the best way to know if you might need to see a therapist is to know what is and isn’t normal for you. Even if you don’t think your problems are as bad as what other people in the world are facing, only you know the impact they are having on your daily life.
If you are thinking about or trying to cope with something for more than an hour a day, or if the issue makes you want to avoid others it is probably time to see a therapist. If the issue is causing you to miss school or work, or if you have developed negative habits to cope with it, you should look into counseling.
Is it Time for You to See a Therapist?
If you think it is time for you to reach out to a therapist, please consider Keri Powell Therapy. We are a group of more than twenty professional therapists with a wide variety of experience and specialties.
Take a few moments to visit our Therapists page, narrow down the list by clicking on a category that aligns with your situation, and visit the individual therapist pages to get an idea of who might be a good match for you and your situation. And then give us a call to make an appointment. It’s not too late to begin taking care of your mental health!