Are You Ready to Go to Therapy? Here’s How to Tell

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Mental health issues are common, especially now with so much going on in the world.

Recent statistics from the National Alliance on Mental Health show 1 out of every 5 American adults live with a mental health condition, while 1 in 25 adults live with a serious mental health condition.

Psychotherapy, counseling, or therapy can benefit people struggling with emotional difficulties, life challenges, and mental health concerns.

But how do you know when it’s time to seek a licensed professional?

Telling someone they should go to therapy or that they need help can be stigmatizing.

It may be difficult to watch a loved one deal with mental health challenges, but it’s important for people to choose to seek help on their own.

If you’re struggling with seeking treatment, here are 7 signs that’ll help you identify when it’s time to go to therapy.

Fatigue

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Experiencing prolonged moments of fatigue may indicate that something deeper is going on.

It can indicate depression, anxiety, and other forms of a possible mental illness.

Fatigue can cause you to sleep more than usual or have trouble getting out of bed in the morning.

Anxious thoughts

It’s completely normal to worry about things, but when worry takes up a significant part of your day or causes physical symptoms, therapy can help you deal with it.

Social withdrawal

People often feel better when they’re able to spend some time alone.

Introverted people may need even more time alone than others.

But if you feel distressed around others or fear being with people, therapy can help you understand and deal with these feelings.

Hopelessness

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Losing hope or motivation, or feeling as if you have no future, can indicate depression or another mental health condition.

Feeling hopeless from time to time, especially after a period of difficulty, isn’t uncommon. But when it persists, it may lead to thoughts of suicide.

Rage, anger, resentment

Anger is a normal emotion to feel when life happens. Even passing rage isn’t necessarily harmful.

Seeking support to deal with these feelings may be a good idea when they don’t pass, are extreme compared to the situation, or if they lead to acts of violence or potentially harmful actions.

Difficulty regulating emotions

Besides depression, uncontrolled emotions may also reflect negative feelings about the self or the world, frustration, or a poorly regulated response to stress.

When used, therapy is an honest, objective, and confidential space that allows a person to explore their emotions, understand its root causes, place it in a context, and learn coping skills to help overcome those feelings.

Disruptions in sleep or appetite

Someone who is anxious or in a manic state may have sleeplessness, while someone who is severely depressed might not eat for several days on end.

if you notice that you’ve been eating or sleeping either less or more than usual for a long period, it might be time to hit the pause button and seriously assess the situation.

 

Encouraging someone you care about to look into possible therapy options, even offering to review potential therapists with them, is generally a better way to show support.

People who feel forced into therapy may feel resistant and find it harder to put in the work needed to make a change.

While therapy can help people work through issues that lead to thoughts of suicide, it’s usually not the best option for people in crisis.

If you or someone you know are in a crisis, you can get help right away by reaching out to a suicide helpline through phone, text message, or online chat.

You may be encouraged to call or visit the nearest emergency room.

A therapist can help support you going forward, once you are no longer in crisis.

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